May 16, 2006 4:00 AM PDT

Congress may make ISPs snoop on you

A prominent Republican on Capitol Hill has prepared legislation that would rewrite Internet privacy rules by requiring that logs of Americans' online activities be stored, CNET News.com has learned.

The proposal comes just weeks after Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Internet service providers should retain records of user activities for a "reasonable amount of time," a move that represented a dramatic shift in the Bush administration's views on privacy.

Wisconsin Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is proposing that ISPs be required to record information about Americans' online activities so that police can more easily "conduct criminal investigations." Executives at companies that fail to comply would be fined and imprisoned for up to one year.

In addition, Sensenbrenner's legislation--expected to be announced as early as this week--also would create a federal felony targeted at bloggers, search engines, e-mail service providers and many other Web sites. It's aimed at any site that might have "reason to believe" it facilitates access to child pornography--through hyperlinks or a discussion forum, for instance.

Speaking to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children last month, Gonzales warned of the dangers of pedophiles using the Internet anonymously and called for new laws from Congress. "At the most basic level, the Internet is used as a tool for sending and receiving large amounts of child pornography on a relatively anonymous basis," Gonzales said.

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc. Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc.

Until Gonzales' speech, the Bush administration had explicitly opposed laws requiring data retention, saying it had "serious reservations" (click here for PDF) about them. But after the European Parliament last December approved such a requirement for Internet, telephone and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, top administration officials began talking about it more favorably.

The drafting of the data-retention proposal comes as Republicans are trying to do more to please their conservative supporters before the November election. One bill announced last week targets MySpace.com and other social networking sites. At a meeting last weekend, social conservatives called on the Bush administration to step up action against pornography, according to a New York Times report.

Sensenbrenner's proposal is likely to be controversial. It would substantially alter U.S. laws dealing with privacy protection of Americans' Web surfing habits and is sure to alarm Internet businesses that could be at risk for linking to illicit Web sites.

A spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee said the aide who drafted the legislation was not immediately available for an interview on Monday.

U.S. Justice Department spokesman Drew Wade said the agency generally doesn't comment on legislation, though it may "issue a letter of opinion" at a later date.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, called Sensenbrenner's measure an "open-ended obligation to collect information about all customers for all purposes. It opens the door to government fishing expeditions and unbounded data mining."

The National Security Agency has engaged in extensive data-mining about Americans' phone calling habits, USA Today reported last week, a revelation that could complicate Republicans' efforts to enact laws relating to mandatory data retention and data mining. Sen. John Sununu, a New Hampshire Republican, for instance, took a swipe at the program on Monday, and Democrats have been calling for a formal investigation.

Worries for Internet providers
One unusual aspect of Sensenbrenner's legislation--called the Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today's Youth Act--or Internet Safety Act--is that it's relatively vague.

Instead of describing exactly what information Internet providers would be required to retain about their users, the Internet Safety Act gives the attorney general broad discretion in drafting regulations. At minimum, the proposal says, user names, physical addresses, Internet Protocol addresses and subscribers' phone numbers must be retained.

That generous wording could permit Gonzales to order Internet providers to retain records of e-mail correspondents, Web pages visited, and even the contents of communications.

"In the absence of clear privacy safeguards, Congress would be wise to remove this provision," Rotenberg said.

Sonia Arrison, director of technology studies at the free-market Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco, said the Internet Safety Act "follows in a long line of bad laws that are written in the name of protecting children."

CONTINUED: Uncertain political terrain…
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71 comments

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This is Nuts
The Bush Administration seems committed to trampling over civil
liberties. All under the guise of stopping "evil doers." These people
cannot be trusted at all. Call your members of Congress now to
urge them to oppose the Sennsenbrenner bill.
Posted by (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Watch for the buzzwords, folks
Dwayne states:

"The Bush Administration seems committed to trampling over civil liberties."

You have to remember that C-Net News, like most mainstream media, has a Bush-bashing, liberal leaning to it, and, while not as obvious as most of them, still attempts to sway you when it can. Note the following two sentences from the beginning of the article:

"A prominent Republican on Capitol Hill has prepared legislation that would rewrite Internet privacy rules..."

Okay, there's your truth. A Congressman has introduced the bill. Now for the spin:

"...a move that represented a dramatic shift in the Bush administration's views on privacy."

So, according to the article, all Republican Congressmen are mere pawns of President Bush, complying with his every whim. A summation that I'm pretty sure the aforementioned Congressmen would object to.

So now, with the words "Bush administration" lingering in the reader's mind, the article then launches into all the gruesome things the bill would do. As you read through them, it's only natural to think, "That damn Bush administration!", whereas what you should be thinking is, "Why did those jackasses in Wisconsin elect this jerk?", referring to Rep. Sensenbrenner.

Remember to watch for the buzzwords, folks. If the site is left-leaning, the telephone database collected by the NSA is "surveillance" of Americans. The monitoring of terrorists' phone calls is "domestic" spying. And, as in this case, watch for the term "Bush administration" where it simply doesn't belong.
Posted by Joe Bolt (62 comments )
Link Flag
Fourth Amendment: RIP
At first we were suppose to compromise our civil liberties because of terrorism, and now its child pornography. What's the excuse going to be next time?

Do you really think this is just about pedophiles on the internet?
Posted by anomalator (83 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Fourth Amendment: RIP
No, it's not about pedophiles or terrorism, it is about control, and how better to control, than with every bit of information, good, bad, or just thoughts, spoken out loud to a friend!! I'll bet J. Edgar Hoover is rolling over in his grave thinking how much more he could have done with this kind of information!!
Posted by dland51 (91 comments )
Link Flag
Innocent until proven guilty....
A law like this treats everyone as a guilty suspect. Tis a sad world we live in...
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Write your Congressman - stop this!!!
Some may think that this is for a good cause, but having the mechanism in place BEGS for governmental abuse later on. Writing Congress DOES make a difference. Tell your friends!!!
Posted by bobdonohoo (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Article title could be misleading
The title of the article seems to be saying that the government is snooping without a 'warrant.'

I am a little confused as to what reason to believe' means stated by the atourney general. What I am reading here is that they are not trying to store all data and only for a limited time. Just data collected from these illegal web ISPs.

A 1996 federal law called the Electronic Communication Transactional Records Act regulates data preservation. It requires Internet providers to retain any "record" in their possession for 90 days "upon the request of a governmental entity."

My question is: Is this a valid warrant. Something that the public will be aware of so they can make proper judgment or is this more of the terrorism 'total power' thing?

Basically I would be for it, with a warrant, because there are too many jerks on the Intent getting away with monstrous things. Frankly I'm sick of it. There are way too many kids getting raped in this country, I think because the Internet was a free-for-all in the late 90s when it got popular all in the name of privacy and freedom without respect of the privacy and freedom of the victim.
People can't just sit there a squawk freedom and then do nothing about crime.
Posted by Blito (436 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Illegal web ISPs
Where did that term come from: "Illegal web ISPs?"
One thing is for certain any government agency that can use this type of law won't be confused about what it means: It will mean what they want it to mean!
Posted by dland51 (91 comments )
Link Flag
Article title
Thanks for your reply.

If you want to know what "reason to believe" means, that's a question for Rep. Sensenbrenner, not me.

As for the ECTRA, all that's required is a mere letter (no court order) from the FBI or other federal police agency. I received one once and wrote about it -- did you follow the links from the article?
Posted by declan00 (848 comments )
Link Flag
Don't write your Congressman
You'll be ignored. Frankly, if you want to be
heard, make an appointment with a couple of
friends to go visit the guy. Most congressmen
are deep into lots of other people's pockets --
a constituent's concerns might get some
consideration, but unless you go the extra mile
to really catch their attention, you'll be
marginalized.

I don't care about this so much. If it looks
like it'll pass, I promise I'll release an
open-source cross-platform internet traffic
noise generator to everyone. You can easily
render all of the records utterly useless and
too voluminous to be practical, and too noisy to
be reliable.

I'm not sure if they'd be able to push this
through before times up anyway.
Posted by Zymurgist (397 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Push through
They can push through a lot of stuff between now and January! I am assuming you meant between now and summer recess so they can work on trying to get re-elected, but when they come back and before they are out they can do a lot of damage! Keep working on your traffic noise generator I have a strong feeling you will need it!
Posted by dland51 (91 comments )
Link Flag
RE: Don't write your Congressman
Maybe we should all send copies of 1984 and similar titles as gifts to our representatives? Or would they take it as an instruction book by mistake?
Posted by amigabill (93 comments )
Link Flag
Even if you are right...
...about how much time they might have for this bill this year, there is always next session, unless we all collectively vote these bums out. But, even if we cast votes against the incumbants like Sensenbrenner, how will our votes be counted if Diebold holds all the machines and ChoicePoint is out there doing things that violate our rights to vote? We are loosing so much of our freedom at such a rapid rate, I don't think we'll be living in anything that resembles America shortly. Then, voting won't even matter. Democracy will be gone. I'm not saying this to be so negative, but people can't just cast things like this aside and hope for the best. People have to be pro-active.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
What a bonehead.
I called his office an told them that this is a really stupid idea. I ran an ISP for about 8 years, I have a degree in criminal justice.. this is REALLY A BAD IDEA.
Posted by djpaisley (80 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What a bonehead.
I called his office an told them that this is a really stupid idea. I ran an ISP for about 8 years, I have a degree in criminal justice.. this is REALLY A BAD IDEA.
Posted by djpaisley (80 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bad idea
Since when is Congress known for passing good ideas, or, for that matter, even knowing what they pass as legislation? They don't even know what is in the bi-partisan immigration bill, they just do as they are told, and not by Joe Blow citizen!
Posted by dland51 (91 comments )
Link Flag
Did you get a response?
I'm just curious what his office's response is to this [bleep].
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
Many Innocent People will get caught up in this
This guy must be as dumb as a stump.

Someone should tell this clown that this type of approach will not work, especially once Grandma Millie's IP address is spoofed or hacked by crooks and she's hauled off in handcuff's.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Reply Link Flag
slippery
And a year or so after this is in actual use the Gment will say that ISP are not doing a good job of safely storing these records so they[retained data] will need to be shipped to a Gment facility for safe storage. Then a year after that it will be noted that there is far to much of a lag in the sending of the data so that data in transit is causing investagative problems and data now needs to be electronically rendered.

These two additions will just be put in the yearly budget or something that is so large it never gets fully read.

Now the G'ment has almost realtime ablility to monitor the Internet legally. You will know this is a reality when some idiot in congress spouts off that we need federal ovesight into the management and security of wireless networks. The last loophole over truely anonymous access will be closed. And George Orwell lives!
Posted by R Me (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
we already slid past that point
The government is in the process of requiring all phone companies, internet providers, and modem manufacturers to incorporate back doors and their "keys" for easy, unobtrusive, government access! What will be next, TV's that look back at us, or maybe set top boxes already do that, since they are becoming interactive!
Posted by dland51 (91 comments )
Link Flag
I agree
Yes I just read your post. and its not right nor
acceptable any more what this so called government
is starting to pull. Eerily like Orwell as I said farther
down on the postings.
Posted by tubedood (3 comments )
Link Flag
Snoop?
I have to say that I don't have a huge problem with this. I believe that our judicial branch and laws are designed to protect the innocent. The intent of the bill is to make info available to the law for people that are BREAKING the law to expidite catching folks that are doing illegal activites (child porn, terrorist activities, etc.)
If you want to write Congress, make sure that this law strictly enforces audit trails, etc and the information is used only for that purpose.
Let's provide some help for the innocent out there to try to prevent the next 9-11 or the girl down the street being abducted from a child molester..
Posted by Citizen94795 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
snoop
Well I have to disagree with the whole idea. I have been hearing this same argument, basically if you don't have anything to hide, or if you aren't doing anything wrong, what does it matter to you? This process has been going on much more openly the last 20 years and each little piece of do-good legislation is another bite out of civil liberties and rights. Each time something like this comes to pass, Congress doesn't do it's job and write a law that is worded precisely as to what it does and does not provide for...just leaves it to some alphabet agency with an imaginative official to decide what Congress meant when they wrote the law. They have even told the original authors, in recent years, that you didn't mean what you wrote! We have laws that make child porn illegal, enforce them, don't make everybody monitor everybody else, business or otherwise. This method worked to very good effect via the "brown shirts" in NAZI Germany prior to WWII and there is no reason to think it won't work here just as well! This is the United States of America and the last 6 years have seen this country's principles turned inside out based on the "War on Terrorism!" We, as a country, have declared war on people, not a country as has always been our standard. We have lost so many lives, and cost many lives, based on lies and misconstrued information. Had we just joined forces with the countries we have alienated to target the true criminals, in a united effort, we could have been so much more effective. The effort in Afghanistan was well within our moral and legal rights, but beyond there it should have been left to the world to counter these criminals, and right wing religious zealots, not the US, and not at the expense of the basic freedoms of our people! Yes al Quaida has changed our country, and right after 9/11 it was for the better, but the unification of our people by common tragedy and anger, has now turned into division, and mistrust by our own government, all in the name of fighting terrorism, or whatever pet project is high on the political agenda. Your mention of audit trails is a very good idea, just apply it to the electronic voting equipment that government thinks is so wonderful! I have 1 daughter, 3 grand-daughters, and 1 grand-son and I am horrified to picture the type of government we are working so hard to make them live with, when they come of age! We, as citizens, used to depend on the news media to keep us informed of what our government was doing that was wrong, now the few who do serious investigative journalism, have to worry about going to jail for doing their jobs, sounds an awful lot like China or Russia: report what the government wants or you will be investigated and prosecuted, doesn't matter if what you reported was a crime done by government! Well actually it does matter, it makes you a criminal! We have an Intelligence Oversight Committee which the executive branch reports to as to what they are doing, such as the NSA, and when said agency reports what they are doing, the Oversight Committee can't do anything about any illegal acts, because it is illegal for them to talk about, or report it! You want more of this kind of government and control to "protect" you? I can only hope that God can protect us from the "protectors!"
Sorry, this was not aimed at you personally, your comments just opened the floodgates to my thoughts and they wound up being tagged to your message!
Posted by dland51 (91 comments )
Link Flag
What about the innocent? What about your family?
This legislature won't fix the problem and I'll tell you exactly why.

If this legislation is passed, then the predators will just use or invent technology to hide their tracks and allow them to hijack other people's computers. In fact, right now, you can download tools for free that will allow you to almost completely hide your tracks across the internet.

What you can count on is innocent peoples computers getting hijacked by these sick people so that any trails that do appear lead back to the hijacked computer and not the predator. This will usher in completely new methods for blackmail, corruption, and more criminal behavior.

Is that what you want? Because that is exactly what will happen.

Just think about it. What if it happened to your family? What if a sexual predator hijacked your parents computer either through hacking or social engineering and used it as a front to attack children on the internet? The trail would lead back to them, and they would be hauled off to jail.

Or worse, what if you became the target of revenge or blackmail? What if someone, say a disgruntled employee, hacked or social engineered his way into your computer either at home or at work and used it to plant evidence that you were a sexual predator? All they would have to do is start up an internet browser on your computer and go to whatever sites they could visit that could incriminate you. Since all the logs will show that your computer browsed those sites, all the evidence will point back to you.

Are you still feeling comfortable now?

This is, in essence, why the whole idea of I have nothing to hide, therefore I dont need privacy laws or government restraint is a bunch of hogwash. People who think stuff like this is a good idea are the ones who take their freedoms for granted, think only of themselves, and ignore the sacrifice of all those who have died in the protection of these freedoms.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety - Ben Franklin
Posted by rderveloy (16 comments )
Link Flag
What about the innocent?
This legislature won't fix the problem and I'll tell you exactly why.

If this legislation is passed, then the predators will just use or invent technology to hide their tracks and allow them to hijack other people's computers. In fact, right now, you can download tools for free that will allow you to almost completely hide your tracks across the internet.

What you can count on is innocent peoples computers getting hijacked by these sick people so that any trails that do appear lead back to the hijacked computer and not the predator. This will usher in completely new methods for blackmail, corruption, and more criminal behavior.

Is that what you want? Because that is exactly what will happen.

Just think about it. What if it happened to your family? What if a sexual predator hijacked your parents computer either through hacking or social engineering and used it as a front to attack children on the internet? The trail would lead back to your parents, and they would be hauled off to jail.

Or worse, what if you became the target of revenge or blackmail? What if someone, say a disgruntled employee, hacked or social engineered his way into your computer either at home or at work and used it to plant evidence that you were a sexual predator? All they would have to do is start up an internet browser on your computer and go to whatever sites they could visit that could incriminate you. Since all the logs will show that your computer browsed those sites, all the evidence will point back to you.

Are you still feeling comfortable now?

This is, in essence, why the whole idea of I have nothing to hide, therefore I dont need privacy laws or government restraint is a bunch of hogwash. People who think this is a good idea are the ones who take their freedoms for granted, think only of themselves, and ignore the sacrifice of all those who have died in the protection of these freedoms.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety - Ben Franklin
Posted by rderveloy (16 comments )
Link Flag
Sensennbrenner is the WORST
This guy constantly introduces anti american, anti constitutional bills. From such things as broadcast flags repeatedly brought forward to privacy revocation on numerous fronts...

Yet those boneheads up in Wisconsin just can't seem to get enough of this guy!!??
Posted by The user with no name (259 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sensenbrenner...THE NAZI!
I am ashamed to say I used to live in Wisconsin, BUT, I got wise and MOVED OUT!

Wisconsin has fascist ideals, that's why they have Doyle as Governor, and Sensenbrenner in the whitehouse.

ONE law that is needed is: NO laws may be passed at any time, or under ANY circumstance, regardless of the reason, that will deny, even in the smallest detail, any rights of any citizen, to do so will immediately force the law to be void and illegal, and ANY elected official, no matter his or her ranking WILL be held to answer to the people for the charge of treason and high crimes and shall be placed into federal prison for a term of not less than 25 years to life, depending on the severity of the rights said elected official attempted to subvert and deny.

This sort of law should be made permanent by a vote of the people with a ballot, and can ONLY be changed with a 2/3 vote by the same people.

The VOTERS make up 99/100ths of the nation's power, let's USE it to OUR advantage from this time forward!

Term limits are necessary...four years, no longer!

Wisconsin is a FASCIST STATE!
What else can you expect to see from NAZIS any way?

The second amendment is a RIGHT, NOT a 'privilege'!

Voting is a right, NOT a 'privilege'!
Posted by AECRADIO (21 comments )
Link Flag
Watch for those buzzwords, folks
One reader responds:

"The Bush Administration seems committed to trampling over civil liberties."

You have to remember, folks, that C-Net News, like most mainstream media, has a Bush-bashing, liberal leaning to it, and, while not as obvious as most of them, still attempts to sway you when it can. Note the following two sentences from the beginning of the article:

"A prominent Republican on Capitol Hill has prepared legislation that would rewrite Internet privacy rules..."

Okay, there's your truth. A Congressman has introduced the bill. Now for the spin:

"...a move that represented a dramatic shift in the Bush administration's views on privacy."

So, according to the article, Republican Congressmen are mere pawns of President Bush, complying with his every whim. A summation that I'm pretty sure the aforementioned Congressmen would object to.

So now, with the words "Bush administration" lingering in the reader's mind, the article then launches into all the gruesome things the bill would do. As you read through them, it's only natural to think, "That damn Bush administration!", whereas what you should be thinking is, "Why did those jackasses in Wisconsin elect this jerk?", referring to Rep. Sensenbrenner.

Remember to watch for the buzzwords, folks. If the site is left-leaning, the telephone database collected by the NSA is "surveillance" of Americans, or "spying" on Americans as the original C-Net article called it. The monitoring of terrorists' phone calls is "domestic" spying. And, as in this case, watch for the term "Bush administration" where it simply doesn't belong.

As far as the article goes, once again (for what feels like the 100th time in the past 20 years) I feel sorry for the poor ISPs that get caught in the middle. I loved this line:

"...and even the contents of communications."

That means, of course, that not only does an employee from the ISP have to read through every email before it's sent on, but actually has to try every link in said emails. Not every porn link is "www.GetSexHere.com", and that's doubly-true for sites trying to protect illegal contents.

Here's another goodie:

"It's aimed at any site that might have 'reason to believe' it facilitates access to child pornography--through hyperlinks or a DISCUSSION FORUM, for instance."

So, if someone states in a forum, "I've been surfing the web for years and, while I've certainly blundered my way across the occasional porno site, I don't ever recall seeing any child porno. So what's the government talking about?", and you answer, "The child porno is usually hidden", then you've just 'fascilitated' access to child pornography, right?

Well, I could go on and on, but I've got some things to do. I do, however, have one little question for the group first.

I've been surfing the web for years and, while I've certainly blundered my way across the occasional porno site, I don't recall ever seeing any child porno. So what's the government talking about?

No, wait.

Don't answer that. :)
Posted by Joe Bolt (62 comments )
Reply Link Flag
New law to make current behavior legal
The Bush Administration has already decided that collecting information about all Americans is legal in "the time of war". The Forth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution no longer applies to the current administration. Sensenbrenner's legislation will simply enforce the order given by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to ISPs that they must keep records on the surfing habits of their American customers so that he can examine them later. Is it legal to examine these records without a warrant? It is if the President says it is.

Wouldn't it be easier to catch web sites that distribute illegal images and content by simply searching the web for them using the search engine of their choice and arrest their owners and shut them down? Of course it would be. Why won't the AG do this?

Why won't the Bush Administration enforce the current laws against makers and traffickers of illegal content (that are so easy to locate on the internet)? Sorry if that's seems like some sort of left-leaning question - I don't mean to offend you.
Posted by Arbalest05 (83 comments )
Link Flag
Confused
So you think since C-Net is liberal, the Bush administration is not trampling on our rights? Don't dillud yourself
Posted by balihoo2 (5 comments )
Link Flag
Is there a reason for you to post the same drivel...
...more the once, other than you are desperately confused and/or are clingly to your very last hope that your fascist paradise comes to realization?

I'd say watch out for buzzwords like "bush-bashing", and "liberal" and the like this guy spewed in a vain effort to try to refute how much of a fascist society we have become. We are all Americans here, and we all want our country back.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
Gag, another Republican True Believer
> C-Net News, like most mainstream media, has a
> Bush-bashing, liberal leaning to it, and, while
> not as obvious as most of them, still attempts to
> sway you when it can.

Shut up already. We've been hearing the same things from you clowns for years.

I'll bet if you read the Constitution, you'd get on these forums with a screed deriding it as a "liberal" document.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Link Flag
Fourth Amendment
I know no one in this country seems to care anymore. But here is my opinion on the matter.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized".

God I hope America wakes up soon, before the document this Amendment came from becomes just a worthless piece of paper. Please fight for your rights, before you lose them!
Posted by balihoo2 (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Fight for your rights!
You don't think it's too late already? We keep telling our troops they are fighting for the rights of all Americans, and protecting our National Security and yet I read a poll a couple of weeks ago that mentioned 78% of our troops think we attacked Iraq for it's involvement in 9/11! We need our troops to be intelligently informed so they can make rational decisions; oops that won't work with our government! I guess they are better off believing what they are told to believe!
Posted by dland51 (91 comments )
Link Flag
Out of control
What further proof do you need that your government is out of control. This little tidbit of privacy lost is it. The liberal Demorats and the conservative Republirats are both one and the same party but with different names. Just watch as they both together compromise to get more illegals into the country to work for peanuts for the rich. Just watch as they pass more and more constitution busting crap like this. What more proof do we need that we need a third party.
Posted by GrandpaN1947 (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Arresting Watchdogs, Too????
Watchdogs are private citizens who enter borderline discussions in order to track pedophiles. Sometimes they are actually parents looking for their own kidnapped children. Watchdogs will participate, as adults, in many risky discussions in order to send publicly available postings to professional law along with a letter as to why they, as private citizens, think that a particular poster may be an adult stalking a specific child.

The best watchdogs are able to notice when physical location discussions appear to be moving toward direct contact and also notice the bridge phrases that lead to hard-core sites.

The law enforcement then can use existing laws and their own judgement as to getting more information if they see cause to do so. This does not infringe anyone's private information, nor does it expose innocent people to false accusations, as the new law certainly would do. Watchdogging does not presume guilt, in fact it presumes innocence in asking legitimate authorities to take the steps necessary to investigate a specific situation before anyone gets accused of anything.

The new laws will presume guilt on the part of all adults who appear in risky discussions. This can include those who are involved in a completely innocent thread that later gets hijacked by new participants.

We have all seen groups in the internet change in character as membership evolves. We know that our membership info in groups we have long forgotten can persist.

This new ISP set of rules is absurdly dangerous and ineffective. It can only hurt the innocent and let the guilty swim free in a sea of confusion.
Posted by teapotdee (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How about cost?
Let's do a real dirty calculation here. Giving a small ISP with 10000 users. Lets leave out downloaders and say they are all average e-mail and web browsing kinda people. 2 hours a day max 7 days a week. The ammount of data they would produce that they want logged would be equivilant to about 1TB a week. Say it was dumped into some kind of SQL DB. We are talking 52TB a year. Who knows how long they want it held for so now you have probably 2 new full racks of NAS or SAN and a couple high end servers and don't forget autoloading tape back up for that storage. We're looking at close to 500K for new hardware costs. Tack on another 500-700 annually for upkeep in a normal server room. Electric, fire supression/protection, water detection/protection. These are very low estimates but they equal a large increase in your bill. And if you are stuck with Comcast like some people are that's getting beyond highway robbery.
Posted by TooMuchStout (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Deja Vu
This story makes it sound like CNET just found out about this.. didn't they run almost the exact same story a few weeks back?

I don't mean to be overly critical because this is something that needs bringing to the forefront, but it's hardly new.

Let's face it we've known for years that you don't write anything in an email you wouldn't want the government to see, hence the existence of things like PGP and the government lawsuit to try to get it banned.

But this particular bill is so far out there it defies belief. The people responsible are on both sides of the house, and are using the rhetoric of tabloid news channels like CNN, MSNBC and Fox to justify it's existence.

What is curious is how they anticipate locally owned ISPs being able to store that much information without the resources of a Hollywood studio trying to digitise it's entire library of movies.

Obviously they feel we're not paying enough for our internet and ironically we'll end up paying in subscription charges for the equipment used to spy on us.
Posted by ajbright (447 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Actually not deja vu
ajbright: Nope, we didn't run almost the same story a few weeks back.

I probably wasn't clear enough in the article and I apologize for that. Basically we had a few data points including (1) a Democrat suggesting this (2) AG Gonzales suggesting this.

Now we have a close ally of the Bush administration ready to introduce legislation. So it's another step forward in the legislative process, and we'll be covering future ones as well.
Posted by declan00 (848 comments )
Link Flag
Apparently...
Republican's brains are too over worked with the war efforts (a war we shouldn't have even been in.) This Novemeber is the time to help them and get the nut cases out of office. We also need to re-landscape the White House and take out the bushes. I think it is time we impeach him for laying to get us in to a war and for breaking the law and constitution to spy on us and lie some more about it. IMPEACH BUSH!

Robert
Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Party has a drug problem
I think all the drugs that are ceased go straight
up the Republicans noses. It is a known fact that our current president used to snort cocaine up his nose and smoke marijuana, yet he is our president, and that he is part of some stupid Bones and Skulls club for little kids. lol

There is no doubt in my mind that Democrats will take over the Majority and the Presidency in the next election, only a moron would vote republican.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What would Reagan Do?
Dear friends,

This is a question my fellow Republicans used to ask instead of fear mongering. I too dislike much of the the salacious and offensive material on the WWW however our representational democracy works. It protects ideals and even ideas the majority doesn't like.

The difference between the ancient Greeks and then Romans whose democracies were an oligarchy of just old male head of households and what we have today in America is the USA protected the rights of the little guy against the big guys even if it meant, well, a less perfect society.

President Reagan often spoke on the virtues of this American system saying we were home grown good guys who fought good wars and showed the rest of the world the best of Western Civilization. Hey, I believe that too.

In this time of crisis where basic freedoms are at risk, maybe someone in charge should sit back and say "What would President Reagan do?". He ended the "Cold War" amicably without a shot or a nuclear boom. I cannot help but think have we lost all that.

Anyway, I vote against the Congress requiring ISP act like big brother because, well, it assumes evil and it violates the presumption of innocence. I don't think the present jingoism has anything to do with Reaganomics and Reaganism. Thats what I think.

Janet
Posted by Iohagh (54 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What's next?
Throwing people in jail for disagreeing with the Moral Majority? Voting wrong? Being a RedSox fan and not a Ranger fan? Are these folks that bored? Do they really have nothing better to do? Amazing!
Posted by blogtommy (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Constitutional protections are sacrosanct
The "Republican Party" and the Bush Administration have no compulsion against destroying America as we know it. There are plenty of state and federal laws on the books to address the child pornography/predator issue. The Macomb County (MI) Sheriff's Dept. conducted successful stings years before Dateline began working with Perverted Justice. This is just another excuse to destroy our Constitutionally protected privacy rights. Our Founders refused to pass the Constitution without the Bill of Rights for good reason. It is our responsibility as citizens to defend the Constitution. May I suggest anyone who agrees with the Administration permanently relocate to a country that already has this system in place - China. That way the rest of us can enjoy living in the America we grew up in.
Posted by cardinalbird2 (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
OMG its right out of Orwells 1984
First He argues its ok to tap our phones.. now They
want to see what you do on the computer.. whats
next????
Posted by tubedood (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE: OMG its right out of Orwells 1984
I've never actually read Orwell. But seeing where we're going I'm going to order it and read up on how my life will be in another decade or so, be prepared and all that... I did see Farenheight 491 on TV once upon a time, sol I have a little idea of what it'll be like.

I'll have to try and figure out how to look good when I wake up so I don't have my normal bed head and stuff going on when they come to isntall cameras in all rooms of our homes too, as I look pretty bad before my shower and I don't want to scare the spies. Boy, I hope they leave the cameras out of the bathrooms when they install them...

I'm glad I wasn't born in Soviet Russia, but I have a feelign I may grow old in the same thing...
Posted by amigabill (93 comments )
Link Flag
Manufacturing Evidence Is Greater Danger
I think the real danger is not that collected data will be archived, the real danger is that it could be manufactured and then used to frame someone. Read about Operation Northwoods and Operation Mongoose, including Joint Chiefs Of Staff's plans to manufacture evidence to frame Castro. This stuff really does happen.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwood" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwood</a>
"It also includes Operation Dirty Trick, a plot to blame Castro if the 1962 Mercury manned space flight carrying John Glenn crashed, saying "The objective is to provide irrevocable proof that, should the MERCURY manned orbit flight fail, the fault lies with the Communists et al Cuba [sic]." It continues, "This to be accomplished by manufacturing various pieces of evidence which would prove electronic interference on the part of the Cubans.""
Posted by CancerMan2 (74 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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