As Texas Congressman Behind SOPA Pushes Anti-Child Porn Bill, Reddit Users Make Plans To Unseat Him

Lamar Smith, the infamous Texas Congressman behind SOPA, is facing criticism yet again for another Internet-related bill associated with his name: H.R. 1981.

Under the guise of combatting child pornography, the bill would require internet service providers to track all of your financial dealings online. The bill would force Internet service providers to track and store every action of its subscribers for a year, in case the government ever suspects you of being a pedophile. 

The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee in July 2011, and the next step for the bill would be a debate in the House of Representatives.

H.R. 1981 limits Internet freedom in a very different way than SOPA. SOPA restricted freedom of content, whereas H.R. 1981 would essentially tag and monitor us similarly to Orwell’s 1984. What may be worse: The piece of legislation that justifies this restriction is named the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act.

While H.R. 1981 would ultimately create a database for users' Internet history, including searches taken out of context, purchases with credit card numbers, and other useful data for marketers, critics also question its effectiveness. It fails to combat those users that conceal their identity behind proxies. Users who correctly conceal their identity can download child pornography or even purchase illegal substances and guns. Meaning, the government monitoring program would only create new costs for ISPs and be more intrusive for the common Internet user, yet does very little to properly combat child pornography.

It’s already garnered disapproval from organizations like the ACLU as well as other Congressmen from both parties. But that’s not stopping Politico’s policymaker of the year from continuing his push to stifle Internet freedom. In the wake of SOPA’s indefinite suspension (read: after the election), he’s talked about passing this piece of legislation. There is an alternative to H.R. 1981 in the Senate, S. 1308 proposed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), that doesn’t subject Internet users to being tracked.

In response, DemandProgress.org has already started a petition to stop it.

Lamar Smith has made quite a name for himself; he’s at the center of an Internet meme and a quick search of the Congressman’s name is almost as embarassing as a search for Rick Santorum. He will have a difficult time convincing his constituency that despite his shortcomings in popular opinion, he deserves another term to represent them.

Which is why Reddit has aggressively started a campaign to unseat the Congressman while funding and promoting his competitor, Sheriff Mack. They have a subforum dedicated to unseating Lamar Smith. There, people across the world can donate to the campaign. Representative Smith receives a good deal of money from the entertainment industry. Small contributions and support, much of it coming from Ron Paul’s dedicated supporters, can add up to a competitive amount of money for Sheriff Mack’s bid to replace the incumbent.

The Internet’s already spewing anti-Lamar Smith sentiment, SMBC has a fun comic mocking the Congressman. Remeber how the Internet rallied to postpone SOPA; Smith's bill would face the same fate.

A version of this story originally appeared on Tripped Media

Photo Credit: ryanjreilly

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Ryan McManus

Graduate of Syracuse University, majoring in International Relations. Co-Founder of Tripped Media. I don't fit in with any party and have a buffet-style political ideology, much to the ire of friends with whom I discuss politics. Fun fact: I got to watch Gordon Brown get booed at a European Parliament session. It was a zoo in there.

MORE FROM

7 times women in Hollywood pushed back against the pressure to lose weight

They're not here to fit any sort of body standard.

Kendrick Lamar's "Element." video shows a violent portrait of black life in America

"I done cried for this shit, might take a life for this shit/ Put the Bible down and go eye for an eye for this shit."

Nicki Minaj was given the key to Queens. These 9 verses prove she deserves it.

"A star will arise/ And she'll originate from the streets of Southside"

Here's everything you need to know for the 'Pretty Little Liars' finale tonight

Secrets abound in the 'Pretty Little Liars' season finale.

Algiers' 'The Underside of Power' is a soundtrack for every revolution — past, present and future

'Mic' talks with the experimental, Atlanta-bred group about their latest improbable fusion of industrial, punk, gospel and soul.

These are the 9 best 'America’s Got Talent' Golden Buzzer moments of all time

A look at the acts that have earned the show's distinct honor.

7 times women in Hollywood pushed back against the pressure to lose weight

They're not here to fit any sort of body standard.

Kendrick Lamar's "Element." video shows a violent portrait of black life in America

"I done cried for this shit, might take a life for this shit/ Put the Bible down and go eye for an eye for this shit."

Nicki Minaj was given the key to Queens. These 9 verses prove she deserves it.

"A star will arise/ And she'll originate from the streets of Southside"

Here's everything you need to know for the 'Pretty Little Liars' finale tonight

Secrets abound in the 'Pretty Little Liars' season finale.

Algiers' 'The Underside of Power' is a soundtrack for every revolution — past, present and future

'Mic' talks with the experimental, Atlanta-bred group about their latest improbable fusion of industrial, punk, gospel and soul.

These are the 9 best 'America’s Got Talent' Golden Buzzer moments of all time

A look at the acts that have earned the show's distinct honor.