Friday, January 27, 2006

Blog activism: How it's supposed to work, Part 2

Okay, this is cool. I guess it means apart from everything else I'm having a good blog week. Rep. Aaron Pena, writing on his Capitol Blog, declares:
As is our habit, this legislator published on this blog back in January a story regarding how private cell phone records were being sold on the open market over the internet. I was quite frankly disturbed about this and saw this as just another step in the ever increasing move against the concept of privacy. I posted this story simply for public review of a problem. It was not until my friend over at Grits For Breakfast suggested that the someone should follow up with legislation that I asked my staff to begin working on legislation to make the practice illegal.

Since criminal as well as civil penalties might be involved, there is a likelihood that the bill would make its way to the committee on which I serve. After reading the two previous stories over the internet, I checked on the status of the proposed legislation. It is currently at Legislative Council being drafted as I write this entry.

Hence the value of our internet community, I am always asked whether or not I am influenced by the feedback and information I get in the blogging process. I always answer that I am but struggle to give a specific instance. Well here it is, a tip of the hat to my good friend, Scott Henson over at Grits for Breakfast for the nudge to get me started on this legislation.

Now Scott, I could also use your help in advocating for it's passage.
Hard to beat that with a stick. Thanks, Rep! I can't wait to read the bill. Whaddya say we forego prison penalties and go with restitution of $10,000 per phone number sold to the consumer (plus damages and court fees) for the punishment? For big phone companies, that's a better deterrent, anyway.

See also what's now "part one": Blog Activism: How it's supposed to work.

6 comments:

cliff said...

"Whaddya say we forego prison penalties and go with restitution of $10,000 per phone number sold to the consumer (plus damages and court fees) for the punishment?"

Scott;

I would add that the $10,000 should go to the individual cell phone owners and not the government.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

That's what I meant: "restitution" which goes to the victims, not a fine, which goes to the government. Cheers!

kaptinemo said...

I live and work in this milieu of the Information Age, and even though I am but a tiny antibody on patrol in an artery of a capillary serving a slightly larger cell in its' monumentally vast body, I can still maintain my sense of wonderment at its' overall operation.

The 'Net, and everyone attached to it, represent a vast living organism; when something goes wrong in the 'wetware' world (think: earthquake, tsunami, health crisis, etc.) just like a living thing, resources are re-allocated by Netizens (money, goods, etc.) to the area and people that need them, now almost instantly.

Sure, there are 'diseases' (i.e., the unscrupulous who try to take sick and disgusting adavantage of real tragedies, those who promote the baser aspects of human behavior through violence, bigotry, prejudice, etc.) that afflict the 'Net, but on the whole, it remains a healthy, vibrant being. One that is basically benign. And one that can react with astonishing speed. IMHO, the 'Net is becoming the planet's 'Noosphere', and if allowed to naturally develop, will bring far more benefits than pain to Humanity; this latest example of it's usefulness just seems to underscore my point.

Anonymous said...

I started a comment on this post but it quickly grew to large for a comment so I posted it on enormous iNCoNgrUiTieS


Excerpt:

After reading State representative Aaron Pena's comments in another Grit's Post regarding the sale of phone records, it made me realize something: politicians may need to find a new way to cut sleazy political deals if it remains a simple matter to see with whom they spend all their time talking to on the phone.

-D

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming we are talking about cell phone companies selling information to third parties? Well if people would have "read" their contract, they would have known that there cell phone company was going to sell there information. Also there is a "opt" out option, in the contract. Maybe the contract should read, "you have an choice to 'opt' in and let us sell your information.

Don't forget also that the government is stealing money, by charging cell phone customers a "tax," to pay for the war. You also have an option to "opt" out from paying the "war tax" if you so desire.

You can't blame the cell phone company, because American's are to ignorant to read a contract. I guess I can't put American's down too much, since there very own Congressmen and Senator's never read "bills" before they are passed into law.

If someone is going to be so gung ho about passing something to "protect" the citizens of Texas, why not pass a law to prevent people from getting information such as social security numbers and other personal information?? Texas just passed a law that "protects" only cops, and other government officials from having there personal information given out.

Why is that law makers are only concerned with the safety of the elected officials or cops, instead of worrying about the actual people that elected them into office or that pays their pay check???

My only assumption is that the government cares more about themselves, then it's citizens.

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