posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 03:37 PM
The U.S. Justice Department held a private meeting along with several internet service providers and the National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children. Among the topics discussed was the possibility of requiring ISPs to retain records of their customers' online activities for a two month
period. Data recorded by the ISPs would include "records of e-mail chatter, Web browsing or chat-room activity." This data would be used by law
enforcement officials to combat child pornography and other criminal activities.
McClure said that while the Justice Department representatives argued that Internet service providers should cooperate voluntarily, they also raised
the "possibility that we should create by law a standard period of data retention." McClure added that "my sense was that this is something that
they've been working on for a long time."
This represents an abrupt shift in the Justice Department's long-held position that data retention is unnecessary and imposes an unacceptable burden
on Internet providers. In 2001, the Bush administration expressed "serious reservations about broad mandatory data retention regimes."
The current proposal appears to originate with the Justice Department's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, which enforces federal child
pornography laws. But once mandated by law, the logs likely would be mined during terrorism, copyright infringement and even routine criminal
investigations. (The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.)
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
There are currently no laws mandating ISPs to keep log files of this type. There were also no specifics given as to what limitations would be placed
on law enforcement to prevent the abuse of the private sector. While I feel this could be beneficial to the arrest of child pornographers, I don't
support any law that allows government into my private life arbitrarily. The article also states that if an "internet provider were to retain all
traffic data, the database would swell to a size of 20,000 to 40,000 terabytes--too large to search using existing technology." If something like
this was mandated, it stands to reason that the monthly rate for internet service could rise.
A part of me wonders if this is another attempt by our government to gain a backdoor into our private lives. It may be a sincere attempt to combat
child porn. It may also be a scare tactic by the Justice Department to convince ISPs to cooperate for fear of being labeled a child porn advocate.
[edit on 20-6-2005 by FreeThinking1]