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House Bill Won't Criminalize Free Wi-Fi Operators 540

Velcroman98 sends word of a bill that passed the US House of Representatives by a lopsided vote of 409 to 2. It would require everyone who runs an open Wi-Fi connection to report illegal images, including "obscene" cartoons and drawings, or be fined up to $300,000. The Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online (SAFE) Act was rushed through the House without any hearings or committee votes, and the version that passed on a voice vote reportedly differs substantially from the last publicly available version. CNET reports that sentiment in favor of such a bill is strong in the Senate as well. Update: 12/07 06:22 GMT by Z : As clarified in an Ars writeup, this summary is a bit off-base. The bill doesn't require WiFi owners to police anything, merely 'stiffening the penalties' for those who make no effort to report obvious child pornography.

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