Hawaii Lawmaker Backing Down On Privacy Law

    January 27, 2012

We reported yesterday on an idiotic bill proposed in Hawaii that would required ISPs to record every Web site customers visit. One of the main backers of the bill is retreading her stance on the controversial legislation.

Representative Kymberly Pine, an Oahu Republican and House minority floor leader, told CNET that her intention with H.B. 2288 was to “protect victims of crime.” She didn’t mean the bill to imply that it would collect information on every resident in Hawaii.

“We do not want to know where everyone goes on the Internet,” Pine said. “That’s not our interest. We just want the ability for law enforcement to be able to capture the activities of crime.”

Pine has said that the bill will now be revised. She admits that the idea of collecting and keeping information on users “was a little broad.”

The House Committee on Economic Revitalization and Business heard from opponents of the bill yesterday. They said it was anti-business and would do nothing to reinvigorate the economy.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii said that the bill was a “direct assault on bedrock privacy principles.” They said that instead of keeping more records, a good privacy practice is to delete data that’s no longer needed.

Other opponents warned that the bill’s data collection requirements “could be misused in lawsuits.” The U.S. Internet Service Provider Association even jumped in to warn that the bill would be “incredibly expensive” to implement.

Pine told CNET that the law wasn’t based upon her own experience of being attacked with a Web site, but rather those who were affected by crimes like child pornography. She said that they will rewrite the bill with the help of ISPs. They have a month to discuss the legislation to propose changes that all sides will be content with.

The bill currently has no privacy protections or security requirements. These will be most likely added in as the bill is modified over the next month.

John Mizuno, the lead sponsor for the bill, has not changed his stance on the bill. He also introduced H.B. 2287 which would toughen punishments for computer crime.