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FBI Head Wants Strong Data Retention Rules 256

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-know-everything dept.
KevHead writes "Speaking at a conference of international police chiefs, FBI Director Robert Mueller called for strict data retention guidelines for US ISPs. Echoing DHS head Michael Cherthoff's assertion that the Internet was enabling terrorists to telecommute to work, Mueller went further and said that the US needs stricter data retention guidelines. '"All too often, we find that before we can catch these offenders, Internet service providers have unwittingly deleted the very records that would help us identify these offenders and protect future victims," Mueller said. The solution? Forcing ISPs to retain data for set periods of time.' If that happens, how long before the MPAA and RIAA start asking to take a peek at the data too, as they have in Europe?"
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FBI Head Wants Strong Data Retention Rules

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  • by slaida1 (412260) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:05AM (#16498065)
    Database poisoning, ie. entering information that is not only bogus but also harmful, making previously useful lookups turn back so much garbage that real info is hard to find. In other words, some kind of proxy program on client side that loads pages from given list of addresses. That list can be composed of all sites possibly under surveillance. It randomly loads pages in the background, makes google searches with offending words, but doesn't bother user with the data it loads.
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:11AM (#16498101)
    "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him"

    -Cardinal Richelieu (French Minister and Cardinal. 1585-1642)
  • by r_naked (150044) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:18AM (#16498137) Homepage

    Republicans or Democrats in office will not matter. The US has started down a road that has no end (at least not a pretty one).

    So if you can't change them, change yourself. Come be part of the solution [anonet.org].

  • The Fifth Wave* (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:18AM (#16498139) Journal
    Nobody starts the morning with the goal of "Today I will convert our system of government into a totalitarian autocracy" -- no good person, or group of people would willingly do that.

    However, by one tiny chip of compromise after another, one infinitesimal shift to accommodate a "reasonable response" after another, a group of people can turn into "The (choose ethnic group) Problem" and suddenly it's okay to treat people as things, the only capital crime there is. You never quite know where you cross the line and suddenly you have become the enemy your grandparents fought war, bloody war to prevent from turning the future into a long night of horror.

    Will you have the courage to say "NO" to the new Gestapo? They're just nice guys like you who have a job to do, y'know? Or will you draw a line somewhere and say "At long last, Mr. McCarthy, have you no shame?"

    (*Title refers to the short story in The Last Whole Earth Catalog. Find it and read it. Was a school experiment designed to show how good people could turn into black, black Nazis and why there were no Nazi's in Germany after the war. Scares the tar out of me, more so as the days go by.)

  • by aaza (635147) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:41AM (#16498271)
    I would like to see this for all "we are observing you for your own good" type legislation:

    The first step is to try it out on politicians (they are public figures, after all), with the information being freely available to anyone who wants it. No FOI requests, just a wget (or similar) from a webserver. Severe penalties if that information is not available. Naturally, servers do go down, and that's fine, but that information should be available within 24 hours of it being recorded.

    If they are willing to do that, then maybe they could be allowed to do it to the public. I think there would be a severe reduction in stupid laws if politicians (but not other members of the public) were subjected to them during a trial period, with the general public being able to see the results.

  • by Ngwenya (147097) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:44AM (#16498293)
    The summary does right in pointing out that retaining this stuff attracts copyright holders like flies round shit, but, thankfully for the moment, they're not allowed access to this data [in fact, it would be a criminal offence if they were granted such access]. Part of the fighting between the EU commission and the EU parliament was that the parliament wanted access locked down to ultra-specific cases (things that could be prosecuted under the European Arrest Warrant only). They didn't get it, but the compromise was that access could only be granted for serious criminal activities, defined by each member state's law.

    Civil torts (ie, copyright infringement) are way outside the ballpark by anybody's measure, so it'll be a long while before they wheedle their way into this. They will try, but Big Content doesn't hold quite the same disproportionate influence in the EU that it does in the USA. So, from a US point of view, I think that you have much more to fear from data retention that EU citizens have, given that AG Gonzales explicitly mentioned copyright infringement in his reasons for pushing this turd of an idea.

    Not saying that the data retention doesn't suck - just that the existing fears of abuse are more than enough the scare the bejesus out of me without imagining what *AA snooping would be like. I've yet to be convinced that it's not the usual government trick of "let's spend lots of money (better still, other people's money) on a problem, and rely on the traditional public belief that the government is tackling something because it wouldn't spend billions to accomplish nothing".

    --Ng
  • by Incadenza (560402) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @04:10AM (#16498435)
    In the Netherlands the NBIP [www.nbip.nl] just released the numbers of government ordered Internet-taps for January till September this year:

    Number of taps: 31
    Cost per tap: EUR 9.500 (US$ 11.900)
    Compensation per tap: EUR 13 (US$ 16)

    How much was that SAN again?
  • Re:Data Retention... (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 19, 2006 @05:09AM (#16498705)
    It is not a non-existing problem. Did you forget that aside from 9/11, there's also been Madrid and London x2, and a couple of defused ones in other countries?

    Now, you might say that the problem is _close to nonexistent relative to other problems such as car accidents_. Many people say this. It's a valid point.

    Let me counter it however with something: In that case, let's say the government sent agents out to kill random civilians criticizing them. NOT a great deal, NOT tens of thousands - only, say, a couple of hundred a year, _far below_ the number of car deaths. Would you then in your hypocritical self demand, say.. action? That something should happen? That society in itself should exercise a MASSIVE effort that changed and affected and made more uncomfortable and disorganised the lives of lots of people, for the sake of a _close to nonexistant problem_?

    I would certainly oppose that, since it's literally nonexistant for me, and I wouldn't be the one who piss people off and they came for first. Besides, if anything you should improve car security first.

    Re the actual topic of the thread - I am absolutely for mandatory data retention, but there's no need for anything more than a short period, say 30 or 60 days. Any posting on fundamentalist message boards (the equivalent of The Government Agent Association for the Execution of Bothersome Citizens) should be spotted in that time and they could ask the ISP to put the guy on the 'save-history-for-longer-periods-of-time list'.
  • by Ilgaz (86384) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @05:48AM (#16498873) Homepage
    I hope one day you post similar feedback to Google over "data kept forever, mail is never really deleted, analysed for advertising purposes"...

    You know.. Gmail..
  • Re:Data Retention... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cluckshot (658931) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @06:09AM (#16498935)

    I worked in a prison as a health care worker a few years ago. During that time I learned that this prision hospital was run by sex offenders. Prisons are run by the inmates if people outside them do not know. This prison hospital in Nashville Tennessee had its "rock men" (prison laborers) all being sex offenders. During that time I learned a lot about sex offenders.

    The general profile of a sex offender is someone who cannot control their impulses sexually in some area. Generally they are fairly charismatic people though their intelligence varies from very poor to very great. One such man was the former head of the Vaderbilt Universities program to deal with teen aged girls who were sexually molested. (???!!!)

    I learned that the various US States have a network between them to conspire on release of such prisoners to attempt to release the worst ones into areas which were not aware of their crimes. Generally one state would release its worst offenders into another state and so on.The upshot here is that the government of the various US States are actually conspiring to destroy any effective citizen control of sexual offenders.

    The whole war on terror is nothing but an effort to relieve the citizens of ther rights. Stated more clearly nothing these men have done in the name of stopping terror has been related to it. Everything they have done is related to removing the citizens rights and preventing them from containing the run away state. Take a look! The army is being destroyed. The war is being lost in the battle field. The citizens are under attack for expression of their rights. As a best example: When I get a cold, I can only buy one package of pseudoephedrine with a maximum of 10 pills for 30 days. I need more than that for a cold. I must sign a list. Yet if they wanted to catch Meth Lab guys they would have the list but no limit. Big orders would be allowed and the drug types would be tracked because nobody needs their quantities. The subsitute drugs are known to cause heart attacks.

    At the same time try calling your police entities trying to get a detective to investigate drug operations. I live next to a family of known drug offenders with prison records. I couldn't even get the sheriff to come out to witness their open selling in the street! I had to threaten to paint signs on the street, "Crack House Here" complete with arrows before they would even patrol. The sheriff is a political friend of mine! Honestly this situation is fully out of control. The FBI doesn't even answer their phone in Alabama! Try dialing if you doubt me!

  • Ecncryption (Score:3, Interesting)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @08:23AM (#16499677)
    Data retention is a way to catch the stupid offenders, blame innocent people and also abuse the data for other purposes.
    If I was to commit a crim over the Internet, I'd encrypt any data transmission I'd use.

    Then all they have is the ip/domain I talked to. It's not quite a crime to talk to someone.
  • Re:ugh.... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by midway22 (975786) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @10:10AM (#16500909)
    The FBI employees make very poor wages and usually double their salary by going private sector as a contractor. Health care is not bad, just like any other companys policy.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @10:10AM (#16500921) Homepage Journal
    Sure, the Democrats are probably just as corrupt as the Republicans. It doesn't really matter who is in office, what does matter is keeping the turnover high so that Congressmen can't become entrenched enough to gain any significant power. The two party system currently in place is like telling every citizen, "OK you can be a pothead or a homosexual, which is it?" Tough luck if neither one of those things describes you.

    It's still important to get out there and vote so that you can help keep that Congressional turn-over high, and so you can promote third parties at a state and local level. Even with all the bullshit going on, I bet less than half the US population turns out to vote on the 7th or in the presidential election in a couple of years.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI

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