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DOJ Seeks Mandatory Data Retention For ISPs 247

Hugh Pickens writes "Computerworld reports that in testimony before Congress the US Department of Justice renewed its call for legislation mandating Internet Service Providers (ISP) retain customer usage data for up to two years because law enforcement authorities are coming up empty-handed in their efforts to go after online predators and other criminals because of the unavailability of data relating to their online activities. 'There is no doubt among public safety officials that the gaps between providers' retention policies and law enforcement agencies' needs, can be extremely harmful to the agencies' investigations,' says Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, adding that data retention is crucial to fighting Internet crimes (PDF), especially online child pornography. Weinstein admits that a data retention policy raises valid privacy concerns however, saying such concerns need to be addressed and balanced against the need for law enforcement to have access to the data. 'Denying law enforcement that evidence prevents law enforcement from identifying those who victimize others online,' concludes Weinstein." Think about how much evidence is denied to law enforcement by envelopes, opaque concrete, and criminals' failure to shout.

Comment Re:Windows On Mobiles - Yet To Be Convinced (Score 1) 70

I just don't believe Windows is a suitable OS for embedded devices.

I'm all for bashing Microsoft for its numerous failings, but we are talking about a mobile OS, completely rebuilt from the ground up, which is yet to be released. It completely breaks backward compatibility, has a completely new programming model and APIs (as far as Windows Mobile is concerned) and imposes strict requirements on the hardware, in stark contrast with past WM versions. In this case, any previous experience we've had with Windows Mobile is irrelevant, with the only possible exception being Zune, as it's said that WM7 borrows parts of the UI (or maybe much more than just the UI?) from it.

In the end, you may turn out to be right, but until we've had the chance to play with it, such dismissals on general grounds seem unjustified.

Comment Crosstalk in two way links? (Score 1) 92

A potential issue I didn't see addressed in the article - crosstalk. What happens when an outbound signal, neuronal activity triggering a light pulse, is produced at the same wavelength (color) as another is tweaked to "listen" for? Would the brain be able to compensate and filter out such signals, as this essentially creates a form of an artificial permanent link between the two? Or maybe this isn't an issue beyond, say a few hundred microns, because the energy of the outgoing photons is below the sensitivity threshold of the listening ones? Otherwise, it might not be very practical to have to deal with your left knee bending every time you think of the letter "P".

Also, in theory, how many wavelengths could different molecules be produced to fluoresce (if this is even the right term) at? Same thing for the light-sensitive ones. How wide is the sensitivity waveband? IOW, how large a bandwidth can we expect to command, in each direction? Or put in even simpler terms, how many different things can this technology be employed for, simultaneously?

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Asynchronous inputs are at the root of our race problems. -- D. Winker and F. Prosser