Proposed law will force ISPs to store customer data for 18 months

Law enforcement may get a new weapon in fighting off the bad guys in various crimes but customers will lose some of their privacy. News.com reports that a proposed law would force ISPs to keep customer logs for 18 months and the requirement is getting support from The National Sheriffs' Association.

The law was first proposed in a bill sponsored in the US House of Represenatives by Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). During a hearing about the law, Michael Brown, the sheriff in Bedford County, Virginia, said in prepared statements, "The limited data retention time and lack of uniformity among retention from company to company significantly hinders law enforcement's ability to identify predators when they come across child pornography."

Advocates of Internet privacy have expressed concerns about the proposed law as it is currently written. Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, says that he will propose that the bill be rewritten, saying that "the language ignores reasonable data minimization procedures and doesn't envision how bad a data breach could be."

At the moment ISPs are currently required to retain user data for up to 90 days if law enforcement or government groups ask for them. A more recent law, the Protect Our Children Act of 2008, requires ISPs to make a report if it knows that child pornography has been transmitted via its network.

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20 Comments

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In light of recent hackings, I think it would be better for companies to keep customer data for a shorter period of time? As others have said, you hardly need 18 months of data to pin a real sexual predator.

This is ridiculous. They always pass privacy invading laws like this, and hide it behind the excuse of CP. That way anyone who doesn't pass the law gets made to look bad. Its not right.

Like someone else said, if someone was looking at CP, most likely they are addicted to it, and adding more time onto logs would do nothing.

This may be off-topic but we need to have ISP's that are separate from Cable TV providers. As long as the same companies server our cable as well as our internet, there will always try to hinder services such as Netflix and impose ridiculous bandwidth caps. Net neutrality needs to happen but the government needs to impose it!

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

I wonder if the idiots proposing the law realize it's going to back fire on them one day when the government is knocking at their own doors because their son/daughter/etc downloaded Frost Wire and some goodies.

Jack Musick said,
Enough with the freaking laws!

+1... Maybe they are just trying to find ways to screw us so we have more money to get out of debt!!!!!
democrats and republicans!

If someone is doing something illegal as a predator or such I hardly think 18 months of data is needed to prove as such. They are addicted and most likely can't last 3 weeks without "new material". I don't see any good purpose behind this and how the heck do you go from 90 days to 18 months? Multiply by 6 much?

I think anyone who looks at child porn, possess it or has anything to do with it needs to be shot in the face twice.

But, this bill if passed will not only be used for CP, it will most likely be tied into other things surrounding piracy/p2p.

Just a thought.

presence06 said,
But, this bill if passed will not only be used for CP, it will most likely be tied into other things surrounding piracy/p2p.

Absolutely.

I understand democrats but are you sure republican, you want to do this. I mean really, come on you have lot to lose here.

This sounds like it wont be used for piracy and other things totally not worth the time of law enforcement.

what could go wrong here?

Shea J said,
This sounds like it wont be used for piracy and other things totally not worth the time of law enforcement.

The "child pornography" excuse is from the MAFIAA playbook. Once they get things approved for this instance, they need only pay off congress to amend things with a simple wording change to extend this to cover copyright infringement, etc. - namely whatever they want.

Legally, as long as such requests are supported a proper warrant and judicial process, no one will have a problem with this...except criminals.

However, as long as the Patriot Act remains in force, judicial process remains a not too distant dream.

Everyone should keep on eye on these inch by inch encroachments, legal or otherwise.