FBI wants to know where you've been on the web

I guess it had to happen eventually. The FBI wants the authority to order internet service providers to keep customer surfing records for up to two years.

It's "for the children" of course. They say it will be easier to find and track child porn users. Never mind that your surfing history will also tell the feds whether you're a Republican or Democrat, or who your friends are, or what you really think about Obama.

Declan McCullagh of CNET has the details:

As far back as a 2006 speech, Mueller had called for data retention on the part of Internet providers, and emphasized the point two years later when explicitly asking Congress to enact a law making it mandatory. But it had not been clear before that the FBI was asking companies to begin to keep logs of what Web sites are visited, which few if any currently do.The FBI is not alone in renewing its push for data retention. As CNET reported earlier this week, a survey of state computer crime investigators found them to be nearly unanimous in supporting the idea. Matt Dunn, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in the Department of Homeland Security, also expressed support for the idea during the task force meeting.

Greg Motta, the chief of the FBI's digital evidence section, said that the bureau was trying to preserve its existing ability to conduct criminal investigations. Federal regulations in place since at least 1986 require phone companies that offer toll service to "retain for a period of 18 months" records including "the name, address, and telephone number of the caller, telephone number called, date, time and length of the call."

At Thursday's meeting (PDF) of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group, which was created by Congress and organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Motta stressed that the bureau was not asking that content data, such as the text of e-mail messages, be retained.

By all means, give the FBI everything they need - within reason - to conduct criminal investigations. But tracking an individual's website history is pretty far over the line. Anytime the potential for abuse outweighs any possible gains, such an idea should be deep sixed.

Over the next decade, we will have to fight very hard to keep the internet from falling into the hands of statists who would use it to oppress us. The UN will try to take it over. The US government will try to tax it, and perhaps even level a charge for email. Other nations like China will continue to restrict freedom on the net.

All must be resisted if this last, true bastion of unfettered personal liberty and expression is to remain in the hands of the people.



I guess it had to happen eventually. The FBI wants the authority to order internet service providers to keep customer surfing records for up to two years.

It's "for the children" of course. They say it will be easier to find and track child porn users. Never mind that your surfing history will also tell the feds whether you're a Republican or Democrat, or who your friends are, or what you really think about Obama.

Declan McCullagh of CNET has the details:

As far back as a 2006 speech, Mueller had called for data retention on the part of Internet providers, and emphasized the point two years later when explicitly asking Congress to enact a law making it mandatory. But it had not been clear before that the FBI was asking companies to begin to keep logs of what Web sites are visited, which few if any currently do.

The FBI is not alone in renewing its push for data retention. As CNET reported earlier this week, a survey of state computer crime investigators found them to be nearly unanimous in supporting the idea. Matt Dunn, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in the Department of Homeland Security, also expressed support for the idea during the task force meeting.

Greg Motta, the chief of the FBI's digital evidence section, said that the bureau was trying to preserve its existing ability to conduct criminal investigations. Federal regulations in place since at least 1986 require phone companies that offer toll service to "retain for a period of 18 months" records including "the name, address, and telephone number of the caller, telephone number called, date, time and length of the call."

At Thursday's meeting (PDF) of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group, which was created by Congress and organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Motta stressed that the bureau was not asking that content data, such as the text of e-mail messages, be retained.

By all means, give the FBI everything they need - within reason - to conduct criminal investigations. But tracking an individual's website history is pretty far over the line. Anytime the potential for abuse outweighs any possible gains, such an idea should be deep sixed.

Over the next decade, we will have to fight very hard to keep the internet from falling into the hands of statists who would use it to oppress us. The UN will try to take it over. The US government will try to tax it, and perhaps even level a charge for email. Other nations like China will continue to restrict freedom on the net.

All must be resisted if this last, true bastion of unfettered personal liberty and expression is to remain in the hands of the people.



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