Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

U.S. Government Demands ISP Data Retention 355

Posted by Zonk
from the put-up-or-shut-up dept.
dlc3007 writes to mention an article in the New York Times discussing data privacy. The article expands on the U.S. Government's 'request' last Friday at a meeting between Robert S. Mueller III, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, and the executives of several Internet Service Providers. The ISPs were required to retain data on users, for trials if subpoenaed. Right now they're asking companies to do this. The threat is that, if they don't comply, legislation will follow. From the article: "The Justice Department is not asking the Internet companies to give it data about users, but rather to retain information that could be subpoenaed through existing laws and procedures, Mr. Roehrkasse said. While initial proposals were vague, executives from companies that attended the meeting said they gathered that the department was interested in records that would allow them to identify which individuals visited certain Web sites and possibly conducted searches using certain terms." We originally covered this last Sunday, but more details have been released on the meeting since then.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

U.S. Government Demands ISP Data Retention

Comments Filter:
  • Working Clicky (Score:5, Informative)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:33AM (#15453289) Journal
    Here is a working link to the story [nytimes.com]. Please use the RSS feed from newspapers when submitting stories!

    How do you do this? Go to the RSS [nytimes.com] feed page and select the category your article appeared in. Then do a search for the title and pull the link that declares it to be an RSS user. It's that simple!

    I don't think this is morally wrong as you're going to their site and you're still getting advertisements. Slashdot is really just a hand selected RSS feed so we might as well use RSS credentials. It saves us the time of registering and it saves the site admins some wasted space & e-mail traffic due to shill registrations.
    • Article Text (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      U.S. Wants Companies to Keep Web Usage Records

      By SAUL HANSELL and ERIC LICHTBLAU
      Published: June 2, 2006

      The Justice Department is asking Internet companies to keep records on the Web-surfing activities of their customers to aid law enforcement, and may propose legislation to force them to do so.

      The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales held a meeting in Washington last Friday where they offered a general proposal on record-keeping to
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:34AM (#15453297)
    From TFA:
    In its current proposal, the department appears to be trying to determine whether Internet companies will voluntarily agree to keep certain information or if it will need to seek legislation to require them to do so.
    Translation: Will we have to ram another law through Congress to make this happen, or can we achieve the same results through good old-fashioned coercion and intimidation? After all, if we have to pass a law, then we'll be constrained by the law's wording...but if we 'persuade' the Internet companies to retin this data for us 'voluntarily', then we can act without restraint or oversight...after all, it is 'voluntary'...

    So tell me again....why do the Internet companies have to retain so much data?

    From TFA (emphasis mine):
    "The investigation and prosecution of child predators depends critically on the availability of evidence that is often in the hands of Internet service providers," Mr. Gonzales said in remarks at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va. "This evidence will be available for us to use only if the providers retain the records for a reasonable amount of time," he said.
    Ah yes...yet another shameless use of the 'Lovejoy Gambit'. If you oppose this data retention, you must hate children. You don't hate children, do you?

    And once more from TFA:
    An executive of one Internet provider that was represented at the first meeting said Mr. Gonzales began the discussion by showing slides of child pornography from the Internet. But later, one participant asked Mr. Mueller why he was interested in the Internet records. The executive said Mr. Mueller's reply was, "We want this for terrorism."
    And we segue straight from the 'Lovejoy Gambit' to the '9/11 bloody shirt'. How relentlesly predictable.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:44AM (#15453363)
      The executive said Mr. Mueller's reply was, "We want this for terrorism."

      At least he told the truth, perhaps though he should have lied better and said "We want this to *fight* terrorism."
    • "Translation: Will we have to ram another law through Congress to make this happen, or can we achieve the same results through good old-fashioned coercion and intimidation? After all, if we have to pass a law, then we'll be constrained by the law's wording...but if we 'persuade' the Internet companies to retin this data for us 'voluntarily', then we can act without restraint or oversight...after all, it is 'voluntary'..."

      An interesting thought. What happens if the ISPs play along for the next few months and
      • Can the ISP lobiests motivate the democratic party to put an end to this big brother like behavior?

        Good luck with that.
      • The democrats aren't any different, they're just Kang to Bush's Kodos. Remember, Clinton was in office when the NSA Wiretapping began, (not to mention when the DMCA was written). The democrats aren't the answer, and thinking that they are is playing right into their game. The two major parties have BOTH been taking turns eroding our rights for generations. Just swapping out one set of criminals for another wont change anything. Doesn't the public see this? How can our collective memory be so short? Th
        • Listen, the two parties are both. . . well, major political parties and thus primarily self-interested. But it's naive to equate them, there are important differences in what they will and won't do.

          More to the point though, I have to take issue with your saying "Clinton was in office when the NSA Wiretapping began" because it is misleading and completely skirts the real issue of why all of us so-called tinfoil-hat-moonbats are pissed about it. YES, the NSA have been wiretapping forever. They're the fre

      • You mean the same democratic party that voted for the Patriot Act, and the DMCA. Who has no qualms waving the child preditor flag, and passing unconstitional ex post facto laws against those who have committed "sex crimes" in their own states. Who led the cause for eminant domain laws. Whose previous presidental candidate, while recognizing that our rights are being infringed upon by the Patriot Act, continues to vote for it, because "the security concerns are greater". Whose main front-lady constantly bea
        • Don't get me wrong, I don't think the Democrats ARE any better. But since the Republicans' have had control of the house and senate the lobbyist have been investing heavily on their side. If the ISP's ho-hum along now while funding Democrats' elections, come November we may have a different stance on the likelihood of the law that Gonzo threatened.

          -Rick
      • I don't think it will be the Democrats. They feed off of the current system as stronly as the Republican Party.

        Most /. posters seem to me to be Libertarian (disclaimer: I am), but they don't know it. Here's a brief statement of the party's agenda:

        1. Minimal Government Control of Markets
        2. Minimal Government Control of Personal Rights

        Jefferson said "That government is best, which governs least." The moral complement to this is: If you desire a freedom for yourself, you cannot prevent anyone else from havi

    • by Virak (897071) on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:50AM (#15453409) Homepage
      If you oppose this data retention, you must hate children. You don't hate children, do you?

      Yes, I do, but that's not why I'm against this.
    • If you oppose this data retention, you must hate children. You don't hate children, do you?

      Well, paedophiles sure don't.
    • Ah yes...yet another shameless use of the 'Lovejoy Gambit'. If you oppose this data retention, you must hate children. You don't hate children, do you?
      I ** HATE ** children. Therefore I will never molest any!!!

      So, if you love children, you're a potential child molestor!!!

  • Mycarthyism.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by beheaderaswp (549877) * on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:39AM (#15453334)
    It's nothing but Mycarthyism.

    We just jumped back 50 years.
    • More like Cointelpro, actually, 35 years ago during the Nixon administration. Nixon was using the FBI and IRS to go after his critics and other political dissidents in a variety of underhanded ways.

      What we have going now under Bush is potentially far more efficent, though. Instead of making life miserable for just a few hundred selected targets, they'll be able to cast a dragnet that will snare millions of political undesirables. Initially, the intent will be to intimidate, rather than imprison them. We'll
  • What's the point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bombula (670389) on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:47AM (#15453380)
    I'm not sure I really see the value of this information. Sure, some crackheads end up on Fark.com for showing their ID to the teller while robbing a bank, but the real pedaphiles and terrorists of the world don't do regular google searches for "how to build a bomb" and "kiddie porn" from the computers in their homes. To think there will be any significant amount of useful data collected in this fashion is, well, fairly retarded in my opinion.

    I can see this data being useful retroactively for things like criminal profiling and possibly being valuable for targeted marketing analysis, but not for catching child molesters and terrorists.

    • by lbrandy (923907)
      I can see this data being useful retroactively for things like criminal profiling and possibly being valuable for targeted marketing analysis, but not for catching child molesters and terrorists.

      That's not what it's being used for. It's being used to prove people are child molesters. As in, the think you are a child molestor, show a judge their evidence, get access to your web records. In that sense, it is "retroactive". They aren't, however, doing proactive searches through it to find child pornography.
      • That's not what it's being used for. It's being used to prove people are child molesters.

        Child molestation occurs offline. What the hell will data retention policies do to affect it in the least?

        At best, post hoc examination of web traffic can show a possible predisposition to pedophilia (or just a poor choice of search terms compounded with clicking on the "wrong" links).


        This only makes sense in trying to play the typical prosecutor's game of high-bluff poker - "We can't quite pin the robbery on y
        • Child molestation occurs offline.

          You are absolutely correct. I meant child pornography. If they catch some child molester, subpeona his internet records, and find out he visted 100s of child pornographic websites.. it improves their case, alot. Child molestation is already a very difficult thing to prove. It generally comes down to word vs word, adult vs child... so typically circumstantial evidence is necessary for convinction.

          Note: I am not advocating data retention.. I'm just explaining the rationa
    • but the real pedaphiles and terrorists of the world don't do regular google searches for "how to build a bomb" and "kiddie porn" from the computers in their homes.

      Actually, as someone who has worked with law enforcement a few times and caught pedaphiles, I can tell you they really are this stupid. They use AIM and hang out on MySpace. They use P2P and webmail. They are generally not technically savvy (at least not more so than ordinary internet users). Even if they are rather sharp, the victims and other pe
  • by EBFoxbat (897297)
    What can I do in my dad-to-day browsing to make it hard for the NSA/CIA/ect ? Does going through proxies help anything?
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:49AM (#15453399) Homepage Journal
    Just like the warrantless phone monitoring, just like law enforcement officials can now invade your home without a warrant to see if there is evidence of a crime so they can get a warrant, this is not a fishing expedition.

    Nor are we trying to track where everyone goes or what they read. We're ensuring that everyone is fully protected from those bad, bad terrorists. You know, 9/11 and all.

    You see, people want to be free. We're ensuring they can be free by these actions. All we ask is that people understand that we're in it for the long run and ask for their patience while we administer these proctology exams.

    Just remember, 9/11 was a wakup call [democratic...ground.com]. We can't let these terrorists take our freedoms away.

  • ...bad idea (Score:3, Funny)

    by big dumb dog (876383) on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:50AM (#15453407) Journal
    This makes me think about an old SNL commercial [wikipedia.org] for BAD IDEA jeans.

    ...Normally I wear protection, but then I thought, "When am I gonna make it back to Haiti?"

    ...I thought about it, and even though it's over, I'm going to tell my wife about the afffair.

    ...Well, he's an ex free-base addict, and he's trying to turn around, and he needs a place to stay for a couple of months.

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:50AM (#15453413)
    We should be able to keep track of lawmakers, where they go, who's buying dinner (or whatever is spent), which people they're with, whether they used condoms, and their cell phone records.... with reverse # lookups.

    Then we can let ISPs retain the records of where we surf.

    Egads:

    Amendment 1:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Amendment 4:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    • Well, they've thrown out the rest of the constitution, so why not the 1st and 4th. Once they've erroded the 2nd, the rest follow.

      Anyway, people would rather feel safe, than be free. Even if they aren't really safe.

      Amendment V

      No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any
  • by usurper_ii (306966) <<gro.4tseuq> <ta> <yln0seye>> on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:54AM (#15453447) Homepage
    Of course, log files can be manipulated and faked. ISPs will have the power to exonerate or destroy people (maybe a new revenue stream for the ISPs???).

    If this does become law, soon it will be required that the ISPs use only "approved" monitoring software, perhaps software that will digitally sign the log files. And then, since they still can't be trusted, the log files will have to be kept in a central location of some government office.

    How much will this "approved" monitoring software cost?

    Usurper_ii

  • by netsetboy (978741) on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:54AM (#15453453)
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. These people are just going to far...! We need to start blasting ISP's with so much email that they finally get the picture, that we don't appreciate being spyed on...!
    • by Plugh (27537) on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:59AM (#15454074) Homepage
      Quoth "netsetboy":
      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
      These people are just going to far...!

      Oh, you finally noticed, that, eh?
      Yes, the US Constitution is really quite shocking in that it would make the government hamstrung and inefficient -- if they spend their time worrying about this "Goddamn Piece of Paper", they'll never catch the Bad Guys in time!

      Of course, that was the intent -- make it so freakin' clear as day that the government should not be efficient, should be thwarted in its natural desire to run roughshod over the citizenry.

      But what percentage of the US population is even vaguely aware of the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights? How many even understand the difference between the fact that these rights are stated to make them clear to all, not to "grant" them?

      The dismal answer, of course, is: not enough to make a damn bit of difference. Despite 35 years of the Libertarian Party trying to wake people up to the issue, the erosion of liberties in the US has continued apace. If things keep going as they are, the us will be a Fascist state (if it isn't already).

      People of the United States! Realistically, you have two basic options!

      1. Keep doing what you're doing, and going where you're going -- to a wierd mix of Fascism (Republicans) and Socialism (Democrats) and a tiny, impotent group of Libertarians
      2. Concentrate the free-thinkers in a State that still has some vestiges of a Culture of Liberty [freestateproject.org]

      The choice is yours!

  • Feel Safer? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:54AM (#15453455) Homepage Journal
    Republicans bring you smaller, less intrusive government and more deregulation.
    • Re:Feel Safer? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by (trb001) (224998) on Friday June 02, 2006 @11:08AM (#15454176) Homepage
      Actually, true conservatives, which the Republican party used to be made up of, do that...there's plenty of fuel [amazon.com] in the argument that Bush and Co. aren't true conservatives, never were.

      --trb
  • ...if companies would just hold out for a few months at which point we could "throw the bums out", as it were, in the House and Senate, get rid of the rubber stampers and anyone who would enact new legislation.

    But that's just in theory, of course. No company is going to take a stand against Abu Gonzalez, and too many Americans are too apathetic to pay any attention to their rights being eroded. More votes for the last "American Idol" than in the last Presidential election, indeed...
  • by Il128 (467312)
    A record of all of your Internet activity, phone calls, convictions, allegations, magazine subscriptions, library records... Privacy? What's privacy daddy?
  • So an MCSE certifies you to handle private information about American citizens now? Or perhaps helpdesk will have to swear on the bible every day upon arriving at work? Maybe ISPs will be required to hire a CIA consultant? And surely internet subscribers won't be charged extra to assist government investigations potentially incriminating themselves.

    Search engines and the end user must submit all their secrets to the government now, all in the name of stopping child predators. What'll be the next CIA
  • I'm sick of all this crap. I'm sick of what the Bush administration is doing to the entire planet, let alone to the US. This has to be opposed as strongly as can be. We should send emails to all ISPs we do business with urging them to oppose this as other companies have in the past. If they have customer support... or rather, customer's supporting their opposition, they will feel a lot more comfortable about it.

    I'm not sure it's all that helpful to send messages of opposition to congress or the senate.
  • Harmonization (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chill (34294) on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:05AM (#15453546) Journal
    The concept of "harmonization" has been used to justify lengthening copyright terms around the globe. If a major area has a longer term, it is easier to convince everyone to bump up to that than have the term lowered. Governments almost never give back power or revenue willingly.

    In this case, Europe was used as a trial balloon by the U.S. While the data retention laws were discussed and debated in Europe, the U.S. policy makers publically commented about the dangers of this sort of thing and how it could lead to a totalitarian "big brother" mentality. All the while they were telling people in the U.S. how much of a breach of privacy this is and how it will never happen here, the back-channels to Europe were doing nothing but supporting the push for mandatory retention and gauging the reaction -- and attention levels -- of the peoples.

    Once the E.U. backdoor hammered thru a mandatory data retention law, the U.S. changed its tune. Newly appointed Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and staff started talking up data retention in the U.S. and pointing to Europe as leading the way. We are now well down this path. For those of you hoping to stall for two more years until there is a change in administration (aka "regeime change"), don't get your hopes up because the Democrats are just as bad. They'll still fuck you over but will be telling you how much they love you and how it is for your own good. (The Republicans just leave out the "but we love you" part. It is still for your own good.)

    While Europeans love to preach to Americans about how much more privacy aware they are, and how they have Constitutional guarantees and strong laws protecting their privacy and data use, they miss a fundamental difference.

    In Europe, the concept of privacy doesn't include the government. Yes, they have strong laws dictating how data is used, kept, stored and brokered so as to prevent misuse by third parties, individuals and corporations. But, they have no real protections about government access and use to all that data. All in the name of paternalistic government, enacted thru "anti-terror", "anti-drug" and "immigration control" laws the gov'ts of Europe have no privacy when it comes to bureaucratic eyes.

    In the U.S. the concept of privacy really means just you. It is *your* data and *your* information and privacy means ONLY YOU get to determine where it goes and how it is used. The government is NOT (in theory) given a free pass or exemption to use, store or broker your data. For the longest time the U.S. Social Security numbers had printed on the issued cards "not to be used as I.D." so great was the fear of a "national I.D.". Of course, this is offset by most American's apathy towards anything to do with government. As long as they can afford their beers, pay the bills and watch their idiot box most of them will be complacent about damn near anything that doesn't interfere with any of that.

    Don't believe me? How about his for a statistic: more people voted in the last American Idol episode of that television show than did in the last Presidential Election.
    • Re:Harmonization (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Red Flayer (890720) on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:27AM (#15453763) Journal
      "Don't believe me? How about his for a statistic: more people voted in the last American Idol episode of that television show than did in the last Presidential Election."

      Not true. More votes were cast -- but many people voted multiple times in the American Idol final. Only in a couple districts[1] did a significant number of people vote more than once (or have their vote counted more than once) in the last presidential election. Plus, you're leaving out the people who voted but weren't tabulated in the presidential election -- I heard there were a couple[2] of those in OH and FL.

      [1] A small town in New England (NH?) had more votes tabulated than they had registered voters.

      [2] where 'couple' = thousands.
  • by stankulp (69949) on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:07AM (#15453555) Homepage
    Transfer the costs of spying to the ISPs.

    Priceless.
  • by QCompson (675963) on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:07AM (#15453563)
    Putting aside for a second just how effective this data retention would be in catching child predators and terrorists, the probability of the DOJ and police forces abusing this vast database of information is staggeringly high.

    Law enforcement agencies love pursuing internet crime because it is so exceedingly easy for them to do. They can sit behind a desk, eat doughnuts, and bust a bunch of teenagers on Myspace for posting a picture of a pot plant or a 16 y.o. boobie. Giving them mandatory data retention for two years would make their jobs easier still. If I was convinced they would be going after actual terrorists and real child-abusers then I would perhaps be more understanding, but I don't want the privacy rights of all americans sacrificed so the cops can bust a few more dumb teenagers and closet-perverts.
  • https:// wanted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by crow (16139) on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:08AM (#15453577) Homepage Journal
    This is another good reason to use https instead of http. Unfortunately, most web sites will only use https for commerce. If Google used https by default, then the government would have to subpoena them directly to find out what a particular user searched for. Likewise, if Slashdot used https by default, then the government would have a lot more trouble figuring out who an anonymous coward was.
    • Re:https:// wanted (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aldheorte (162967)
      Just a quick note that yes, this would protect the query string parameters that make up the search, but the ISPs could still technically log your DNS queries and destination IP address of any request packets, so they would know the domains and IPs you visited, if not that particular locations on those domains.
  • Copykats (Score:3, Insightful)

    by liangzai (837960) on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:13AM (#15453628) Homepage
    Can't you guy invent your own stuff rather than taking our Snow White, our democracy, our data retention initiative...?

    Let me quote Thomas Jefferson (younger people can e-mail me and I'll tell you) to show you how perverted you Americans have become lately:

    "It has been pretended by some, (and in England especially,) that inventors have a natural and exclusive right to their inventions, and not merely for their own lives, but inheritable to their heirs. But while it is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from nature at all, it would be singular to admit a natural and even an hereditary right to inventors. It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance."
  • by Open114 (955414) on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:15AM (#15453647)
    "It would be easy Mein Fuhrer, I mean, Mr. President..."
  • Having "https://www.google.com" *actually* exist, rather than simply redirecting to the non-https version would be incredibly non-evil.

    I don't know the overhead difference between http and https offhand, though, that might be a dealbreaker.
  • I wonder whether such Government claims make any sense for an ISP.
    Maybe for a phone company it can make some sense to record the details of every single phone call. If you place 10 calls a day and receive 10 a day, a 500K users company will have to record about 3.6 billion records. Doable but you still don't know the actual contents of those calls.
    In an ISP things get worse because on a single connection you run email, IM, P2P, web browsing, IRC ... etc. The number of records could be multiplied by 100 or
  • Encrypted anon. web proxy. No logs kept. If traffic volume was sufficient, it would be very difficult to correlate outgoing traffic with an incoming IP. And web proxies probably aren't considered ISPs, since they don't provide the "final inch" to a user's doorstep.

    -b.

  • by kbuckalo (411216) on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:31AM (#15453798) Homepage
    I am the owner of a small ISP in Santa Cruz, California. We get a couple/few subpoenas a year from the FBI, like most ISPs. My concern with data retention of logs, which is what is being asked for here, is: 1. privacy - 'nuff said 2: the cost to the ISP.

    We're a small ISP, and we keep a week or two of backups and it's already several terabytes. Now, the feds want us to extract all the access, email and web log files from the backups and save them from 2 years. There's a couple thousand ISPs in the US, spread this cost over the US industry, and you are looking at millions, perhaps tens of millions of dollars per year in additional storage and staff costs.

    As a final point, I have 3 kids. Anyone invites me to a meeting and opens it with slides of child porn and my one thought is they are sick sick sick. Most of the people "invited" to the meeting are probably parents, you can sell anti-child porn without showing it to us! What does it say about our AG that he supports torture and has a collection of child porn which he shows to people?
    • by Tony (765)
      What does it say about our AG that he supports torture and has a collection of child porn which he shows to people?

      That he's a self-important, selfish, fascist, sick fuck?

      But we already knew that.
    • by BlackCobra43 (596714) on Friday June 02, 2006 @01:14PM (#15455485)
      WHY exactly does the Attorney General of the United States spend so much time looking at child porn? And why isn't he getting arrested when he clearly admits to it? I fail to see a single situation in which the AG needs to directly see images of child pornography in order to accomplish his job.
  • Defiance (Score:2, Informative)

    My servers remove their logs, and create new ones once a week. I care about my customer's privacy. If they arrest me, then so be it. But they will have to face a judge, and get his permission first. But the government has no business meddleing in mine.
  • Swamp Them (Score:3, Interesting)

    by airship (242862) on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:34AM (#15453824) Homepage
    We need to find out what sites they're monitoring, and develop scripts that will continually access those sites all day long, from millions of computers.

    If the system is swamped, there is no way this data can be useful to them.

    I hate to even suggest this, but a virus that does this from every infected machine would also be useful in this endeavor. Or maybe a 'false virus' you could place on your own machine that would do nothing, but which could be pointed to as a defense tactic if you were ever arrested under these pretenses.
  • I can't fathom that even Shrub's henchmen are dumb enough to think that it's remotely practical to capture *all* data going over the wire -- that would be an insane amount of storage. Unless their plan is to put ISPs smaller than the AOL, the big telcos, and cable companies out of business.

    So that leaves, what, stream data? What kind of info is available from a stream capture? Originating/destination IP addresses and ports, time/duration of connection, and maybe number of bytes transferred?

    I need to

  • Inflationary risk (Score:2, Insightful)

    by babanada (977344)
    There is an inflationary risk to retaining this data. ISPs will need to pass this cost along. I'd like to see some of these costs layed out. Who will pay? As an added bonus, with the new fabulous AJAX stuff y'all are putting in, everything I didn't push submit on could still be archived. Think about that.
  • by davecb (6526) * <davec-b@rogers.com> on Friday June 02, 2006 @10:38AM (#15453861) Homepage Journal
    Different jurisdictions have required by law that libraries simultaneously
    • retain per-patron loan information,
    • retain circulation information, and
    • destroy personally identifying per-patron loan information.

    This looks insane, but actually resolves rather easily.

    To oversimplify, libraries keep statistical information, so they can get their grants for books loaned per year, retain patron loan information until the book is either returned or paid for, and then destroy the link from book to patron.

    This is so common that all the vendors of library circulations systems "enforce" it in software, citing the need to use precious disk space for current records.

    In at least one case, we made it surprisingly difficult to reconstruct old patron-book links from backups.

    Consider this a word to the wise authors of ISP record-keeping systems.

    --dave

  • This violates the first admendment. If the govt is allowed to track and scrutinize all your reading and web searching habits, then the 1st admendment is dead. The reason is that people will no longer be able to read about controversial subjects for fear that the some gov agent will decide that he/she is a subversive/pervert/terrorist/Bush-basher. This program is nothing but a form of intimidation and is yet another example of Dumbya's disregard for the liberties and freedoms of the citizens of this country.
  • by edunbar93 (141167) on Friday June 02, 2006 @11:30AM (#15454417)
    The government seems to think it has a problem here. The phone company has had to track each call made, because of the nature of the system and the nature of their billing. The telegraph before it had the same kind of accounting. No other communications in the history of the world has had this kind of surveillance. Now that the government is used to the convenience of using phone records against criminals (and honest citizens too, lately), they see this brand new medium called the intarweb and wonder why they can't track it too.

    Funny how they *don't* also wonder why they can't reliably track down snail mail to its sender, and aren't threatening the USPS and UPS with legislation to do so or else. And this is despite the fact that you can send bombs, funny white powders, and other biohazards through the mail to terrorize the population. That's really not something you can do with e-mail.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

Working...