There is a move afoot in the U.S. government to require Internet service providers to keep tabs on their customers.
Criminal investigations "are being frustrated" because no law currently exists to force Internet providers to keep track of what their customers are doing, the U.S. Department of Justice told Congress. The department's position on mandatory data retention says Congress should strike a "more appropriate balance" between privacy and police concerns.
"Data retention is fundamental to the department's work in investigating and prosecuting almost every type of crime," said Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division. "The problem of investigations being stymied by a lack of data retention is growing worse."
However, members of Congress chided the U.S. Department of Justice for suggesting a new law requiring Internet companies to keep records of user activity, but not disclosing details on how it should be crafted to aid criminal investigations.
"When are you going to get a specific proposal?" said Rep. John Conyers, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary committee, apparently recalling that mandatory data retention proposals have been circulating since 2005. "How many years is this going to take?"
GOP pushing for ISPs to record user data
Senator proposes mobile-privacy legislation
There's no such thing as 'social media revolution'
Why Twitter is mum on Egypt block
Facebook: Egypt hasn't blocked us yet
How well does your ISP stream Netflix?
Netflix: Why Time Warner slams us
Netflix reports big profits, subscriber gains
Your guide to the Sony Next Generation Portable
Sony NGP a 'serious threat' to Nintendo 3DS?
Tale of two portables: Sony NGP vs. Nintendo 3DS
Kindle e-books than paperbacks. Since January 1, for every 100 paperback books Amazon sold, the company sold 115 Kindle books.
Another sharing service piggybacks on Kindle lending
Amazon officially launches Kindle Singles
Amazon has its first $10 billion quarter
Facebook blames bug for Zuckerberg page hack
Facebook selling user content to advertisers
iPhone service pricing: Verizon vs. AT&T (FAQ)
Verizon's iPhone hot spot to cost $20 a month
Verizon offers trade-in credit for AT&T iPhones
Windows Phone 7 devices to carriers and through retail channels.
Microsoft offers up tips, stats on location privacy
State of the Union on the state of iPad video