May 5, 2006 12:52 PM PDT

Republican politico endorses data retention

WASHINGTON--A key Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives plans to find a way to force Internet providers to keep records of their customers' activities, an aide said Friday.

The aide said Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, who chairs the House committee responsible for writing Internet and telecommunications law, has pledged to work on legislation related to mandatory data retention--a concept recently endorsed by the Bush administration as a way to crack down on child pornographers.

"We have made a commitment with the congresswoman to address that issue," David Cavicke, general counsel to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said at the Computers, Freedom & Privacy conference here. Cavicke was referring to Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, who has drafted legislation making it unlawful for an Internet provider to delete certain types of customer information.

In response to a question from CNET News.com, Cavicke said he didn't know what form the legislation will take--whether, that is, it'll be a standalone bill or an amendment to a much broader proposal to rewrite telecommunications laws.

It involves figuring out "how to protect consumers' personal information and protect American citizens from scourges like child pornography," Cavicke said.

CNET News.com was the first to report last June that the U.S. Department of Justice was quietly shopping around the idea of legally required data retention. In a move that may have led to broader interest among U.S. politicians, the European Parliament in December approved such a requirement for Internet, telephone and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers.

DeGette's proposal says any Internet service that "enables users to access content" must permanently retain records that would permit police to identify each user. The records could only be discarded at least one year after the user's account was closed.

It's not clear whether the DeGette language would be limited to commercial e-mail providers and Internet providers, and to places like coffeehouses, bookstores or home users that provide Wi-Fi access at no charge. An expansive reading of DeGette's measure would require every Web site to retain those records. (Details would be left to the Federal Communications Commission.)

For their part, Internet providers say they have a long history of helping law enforcement in child porn cases and point out that two federal laws already require them to cooperate.

At the moment, Internet service providers typically discard any log file that's no longer required for business reasons such as network monitoring, fraud prevention or billing disputes. Companies do, however, alter that general rule when contacted by police performing an investigation--a practice called data preservation.

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."

In addition, Internet providers are required by another federal law to report child pornography sightings to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which is, in turn, charged with forwarding that report to the appropriate police agency.

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16 comments

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There you go again!
A government that fears it's citizens is not a government of the people, by the people nor for the people but, rather, against the people.

We have nothing to fear but...the government, regardles of whether we have done anything illegal.

The only difference between this intrenet policy and China's internet policy is the kinds of content allowed.

If we are the leaders of the free world, why aren't we leading?
Posted by Pete Bardo (687 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The technology to do this does not exist.
First, I love how they cry "think of the children" when they need to pass something like this.

I still stand by my position that they need to clarify exactly which data they intend to retain, but:

It would be impossible to cache actual content that has been downloaded by subscribers and will never become possible.

They could monitor content people surf by monitoring client DNS queries on ISP's caching name servers, but the opposition would simply bypass this by setting up free anon name servers.

The technology to monitor all IP traffic at the router level _does_not_exist_ and would be very difficult to establish.

The technology to monitor which users have which IP addresses is in use today with a ~6 month retention, if they only wanted to extend the retention time for _that_ data it would be fairly trivial in comparison.

I get the impression that if that is all they wanted to retain they would have just said so, right??

besides, the statement "keep records of their customers' activities" would explicitly imply they are looking to do more than log IP address/user/time.

So just _what_ do they want to retain and how do they plan to do it?

Also, how long before this child protection tool becomes and anti-terrorism tool and they begin investigating people becasue they don't like what they are saying? Sounds like another country *cough China* I have heard of.
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
Reply Link Flag
McCarthy Lives on in anti-kiddie porn movement
Welcome to the new McCarthy Era - not Eugene McCarthy - but
old Tailgunner Joe McCarthy of the House UnAmerican Activities
Committee days - blackballing people, ruining lives with
unfounded accusations and J. Edgar Hoover creating dossiers on
American citizens simply because they dissented with the
current administration - or worse, with HIM.

It's why we have rules about having to get a warrant to wiretap
someone's phone... oops, that's gone now...

It's why we have the right to a quick and speedy trial before a
jury of our peers... oops, that's gone if you are ACCUSED of
being a terrorist...

It's why we have the right of habeas corpus... oops, that's gone if
one is accused of being a terrorist...

It's why a person's criminal record is supposedly kept out of the
public eye ... oops, that went away with the Sex Offender
Registries - even if someone is later proven NOT to have been
an offender, getting their name removed from those lists is
almost impossible...

Yep, the blacklists are back and Congress seems hell-bent on
repeating history...

Sure, it's important to protect the cildren, don't get me wrong -
but we must also protect the privacy and the rights of our
citizens from the invasive intrusion of the government. Ask
anyone who has shown up on the TSA Suspect List incorrectly -
like a Rabbi who has the same name as a terrorist suspect, for
instance.

Same thing, different list, same people that will be prosecuting
from it and using it to screw up people's lives.

America, right or wrong? Nope. America - if it's wrong - FIX IT!
And this is WRONG.

There are better ways to protect our children than creating a
database and dossiers on American citizens. That's been done
before and it took over thirty years for the fallout to clear from
THAT fiasco! We do NOT need to repeat history.

Lee Darrow
Chicago, IL
Posted by mstrhypno (49 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank you, I agree completely.
It is McCarthyism and Salem witch trialism all over again, sadly, but this has a more prominenant chance of being permanent, or around for a very long time.

"sex offender" and "terrorist" have become the new "boogeyman" terms for anyone today the government disagrees with. Alos, "unpatriotic" and "un-American" get thrown around intheir too, but those temrs only cast aspirtions, the first two, actually accuse someone of crimes.

"sex offender" and "terrorist" have replaced "communism". And all laws that we must not enact, or break, or constituional decrees we muct break is done to "combat these foes!" All people with agenda have to do is either claim those in opposition are one of those, and they get they're way like soiled brats. Noone questions them after that happens.

We've been done this round before, but it's scary how so little remember, like this DeGette. Barton, well he's just a [bleep], I mean, there is NOTHING this guy has done for the country positively, actually, he often does what ever is in the opposite of the good and the will of the people. But I thought the dems would be brighter than this, but this is the US House of Reps, which is to say the least 100 times more corrupt than the senate, so what passes off for a progressive there isn't even recognized elsewhere.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
Why is this necessary?
I have yet to hear how we are having problems rounding up these guys and why current laws aren't working. From the news it seems like we're arresting more perverts than illegal aliens, and there are alot more illegal aliens.
Posted by kaufmanmoore (42 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The feds even testified this isn't neccessary.
Well, Gonsalez wants this real bad, but other feds from both the FBI and DoJ have testified that they really didn't see any need for any new laws being resurrected, they did testify that that did not always get the results they wanted from the records the ISPs did keep, but weren't really ready to back a proposal for data retention, and one said the most they'd like ISPs to go would be 3-six months for holding on records, this proposal doesn't even extend to a year, it goes for the duration that the person is a customer, and up to a year after he/she closes their account. This is almost impossible I dare say for ISPs to do.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
Look, ...This IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
And dont forget such POLICE-STATE projects as "REAL-ID", ...a national BIO-metric citizen-registry, for every single American. And, "Total-Information Awareness", recently renamed, but still moving forward, to establish the ability to access virtually every "private-record" of just about every single person in America, ...without any probable-cause. And, I wont even go into the numerous other plans, such as the ever-present video-surveillance, which so many now just seem to accept, and mandatory electronic automobile-tracking, that are being developed and deployed, even as we speak, ...which it is hoped, will allow the complete tracking, and thereby greater control, of every single ordinary-citizen.

As an American-Citizen, you only really have two choices...

Get used to it, and ACCEPT it..

Or,

...prepare for a violent-revolution. And, yes, it will be "violent" because both this current administration, and the previous one, HAVE clearly demonstrated their complete willingness to use ANY FORCE NECESSARY, ...even the KILLING of innocent CHILDREN, if need be, to further this TOTALITARIAN-AGENDA.

Make no mistake, ...it is painfully clear that ENSLAVEMENT of the American-People IS the final-goal.

These ARE simply the FACTS. I just pray Im wrong about just how far this, ABOMINATION, will actually be allowed to progress, ...before it all comes to a head.
Posted by Had_to_be_said (384 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Only 1 Problem
The second option is pretty close to eliminated, really. Look how much influence the US government has over the people. Simply crying "terrorist" lets them invade countries or arrest people, as a person above stated.

Oh well, maybe this horror story that could unfold is just a caffiene induced nightmare.
Posted by Tomcat Adam (272 comments )
Link Flag
Is this an election year?
i'm still waiting for Maxwell to clean his room.
trivia: My K7 was an Athlon 64 1800+; it came in at 1.53Ghz. Follow; Now I have a 2.2 that hit 2.19Ghz idle and registers 1.97Ghz<984Mhz 500Mhz (FSB). processor core-clock is set at 2200mhz.

Do the math!
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Posted by Pop4 (88 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Democrats won't save us because they want a piece of the pie
Any and all Republicans better endorse data retention, because if they don't, they will be out on their ear crying the blues.
Posted by casper2004 (267 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wrong!
Well, yes, this particular dem, Diana Degette, does indeed support this data retention, but she is not the norm. She's not the only one, but I still think she's not the norm. Although, almost any politicain, regardless of party, can bend to the will of others, so more dems might be more open to this than we'd want, they are some out there, on the dem side, that will say no to things like this no matter what, and that's our hero in the senate, Senator Russ Feingold, who has already been on the record as being against data retention, he is a strong advocate for personal privacy and freedom. I guess DeGette is not.

And, NO, if any republican wants ANY CHANCE of being re-elected this year, they better NOT even go near this issue, let alone support data retention, unless they do want to find themselves out on their ear. The US people do NOT want a Orwellian big brother type governemnt, and they will send any politician a packing who does.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
I hope everyone pay attention to who votes...
for this bill/amendment, and the co-sponsers, and not only votes them out of office, but all the political opponents who will run against them this year should use their votes against them in their political campaings, and TV ads, like "This incumnant, Diana DeGette created a bill to spy on you and your family when you use the intenret" or "This incumnant, Joe Barton, exlpoited already expoited children to score brownie pints for his campaign when he voted to keep you and your family under lock down and survaillance on the internet. "

If these thugs in congress are going to vote for this and pass this anyways, it's no time for us to get passive about it, and we SHOULD all amke them eat their words and lie in the bed they made when this issue does expolde like it eventually will. Make them regret they ever brought this up, advertise that they did this and WHY it was wrong for them to do so, and actively campaign to get them out of office.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The media is controlled
It's up to the media who gets exposure and what is said. I think if they were to do all that you suggest, our shadow government will fire them.
Posted by casper2004 (267 comments )
Link Flag
crying wolf?
please just someone saying terrorist wont get us to attack that nation,the proof is in what they do...like iran making everyone believe its "peaceful nuclear program"the same time it talks about the fulse holocaust and the complete distruction of isreal.is anyone that gullible
Posted by newcreation (118 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Freedom
All I can say is that if this bill is prassed, then we can no longer say we are a free nation!
America is back in the Roman Era. Rome crumbled from within,not from the outside. That's what America is doing now, crumbling from from within.
Posted by Earl (60 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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