May 30, 2006 6:30 PM PDT

Terrorism invoked in ISP snooping proposal

In a radical departure from earlier statements, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has said that requiring Internet service providers to save records of their customers' online activities is necessary in the fight against terrorism, CNET News.com has learned.

Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller privately met with representatives of AOL, Comcast, Google, Microsoft and Verizon last week and said that Internet providers--and perhaps search engines--must retain data for two years to aid in anti-terrorism prosecutions, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussion who spoke on condition of anonymity on Tuesday.

"We want this for terrorism," Gonzales said, according to one person familiar with the discussion.

Gonzales' earlier position had only emphasized how mandatory data retention would help thwart child exploitation.

In a speech last month at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Gonzales said that Internet providers must retain records to aid investigations of criminals "abusing kids and sending images of the abuse around the world through the Internet."

If data retention becomes viewed primarily as an anti-terrorism measure, recent legal and political spats could complicate the Justice Department's efforts to make it standard practice.

Especially after recent reports that AT&T has opened its databases to the National Security Agency, Internet and telecommunications executives have become skittish about appearing to be cooperating too closely with the federal government's surveillance efforts.

In addition, the positive publicity that Google received during its legal dispute with the Justice Department over search terms has demonstrated to Internet companies the benefits of objecting to government requests on privacy grounds.

"A monumental data trove is a crazy thing from a privacy perspective," said one person familiar with Friday's discussions. "It's crazy that the U.S. government is going to retain more data than the Chinese government does."

Comcast said in a statement that "we fully share the attorney general's concern with the need to combat illegal use of the Internet for child pornography, terrorism and other illegal activities. We applaud the attorney general's initiative in convening an internal task force on this issue and look forward to continuing to cooperate with him and the FBI."

"The reasons for skepticism are growing," said Jim Harper, an analyst at the free-market Cato Institute and member of the Department of Homeland Security's Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee. He predicted the reaction among Internet and telecom companies will be "mildly unfavorable but people are not yet to the point where they'll say the emperor has no clothes."

ISP snooping time line

In events first reported by CNET News.com, Bush administration officials have said Internet providers must keep track of what Americans are doing online. Here's the time line:

June 2005: Justice Department officials quietly propose data retention rules.

December 2005: European Parliament votes for data retention of up to two years.

April 14, 2006: Data retention proposals surface in Colorado and the U.S. Congress.

April 20, 2006: Attorney General Gonzales says data retention "must be addressed."

April 28, 2006: Rep. DeGette proposes data retention amendment.

May 16, 2006: Rep. Sensenbrenner drafts data retention legislation, but backs away from it two days later.

May 26, 2006: Gonzales and FBI Director Mueller meet with Internet and telecommunications companies.

Details of the Justice Department's proposal remain murky. One possibility is requiring Internet providers to record the Internet addresses that their customers are temporarily assigned. A more extensive mandate would require them to keep track of the identities of Americans' e-mail and instant messaging correspondents and save the logs of Internet phone calls.

A Justice Department representative said Tuesday that the proposal would not require Internet providers to retain records of the actual contents of conversations and other Internet traffic.

Until Gonzales' public remarks last month, the Bush administration had generally opposed laws requiring data retention, saying it had "serious reservations" (click 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.

Two proposals to mandate data retention have surfaced in the U.S. Congress. One, backed by Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, says that any Internet service that "enables users to access content" must permanently retain records that would permit police to identify each user. The records could be discarded only at least one year after the user's account was closed.

The other was drafted by aides to Wisconsin Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a close ally of President Bush. Sensenbrenner said through a spokesman earlier this month, though, that his proposal is on hold because "our committee's agenda is tremendously overcrowded already."

'Preservation' vs. 'retention'
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 agencies 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."

Because Internet addresses remain a relatively scarce commodity, ISPs tend to allocate them to customers from a pool based on if a computer is in use at the time. (Two standard techniques used are the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet.)

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

When adopting its data retention rules, the European Parliament approved U.K.-backed requirements saying that communications providers in its 25 member countries--several of which had enacted their own data retention laws already--must retain customer data for a minimum of six months and a maximum of two years.

The Europe-wide requirement applies to a wide variety of "traffic" and "location" data, including the identities of the customers' correspondents; the date, time, and duration of phone calls, VoIP calls, or e-mail messages; and the location of the device used for the communications. But the "content" of the communications is not supposed to be retained. The rules are expected to take effect in 2008.

See more CNET content tagged:
terrorism, attorney general, Internet provider, telecommunications, proposal

292 comments

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Add your comment
Typical pattern, invoke hot issues to gain support.
Connect a proposal to child porn or terrorism and it's like trump card. In the 50's it was communism, today terrorism and child porn. Should this go through I suspect it's going to be used with certain provisions of the Patriot Act and the FBI's NSLs to go on fishing expeditions.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Typical pattern, invoke hot issues to gain support.
Connect a proposal to child porn or terrorism and it's like trump card. In the 50's it was communism, today terrorism and child porn. Should this go through I suspect it's going to be used with certain provisions of the Patriot Act and the FBI's NSLs to go on fishing expeditions.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Gonzales Terrorizes with "Terrorism"
Alberto Gonzales use of the "terrorism card" shows how weak
their arguments have been.

So far, the government has used past powers granted to "protect
us from terrorists" to do virtually everything BUT go after
terrorists.

The latest NSA phone tracking is going after journalists.
Apparently all journalists (that speak out against the
administration) are terrorists.

This is YET ANOTHER ABUSE OF POWER by this administration.
They use fear to force capitulation.

Enough is enough!
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Welcome to ... America
We can all welcome Nazi America... we are getting closer and closer. This time its not the Jews, its Terriorism. Just like the Nazis did in the early to mid 20th century, put a picture of someone or something that causes people to be afraid. This time its terriorism, which no war will ever defeat. "Enough is enough" totally 100% true Mark.. 100% true.
Posted by aSiriusTHoTH (176 comments )
Link Flag
Gonzales Terrorizes with terrorism
I agree! Gonzales is using the terrorism card to enable the present administration and their corporate leaders to control the masses by 'tunning' into private emails and instant messages of the tax paying US citizens. It will help them find out what we know about them and whom will 'resist' their control over us as they implement the New World Order theme that they covet. They want control over the masses by using their 'terrorist card'. By taking away the liberties and rights of the US citizens they are tightening the loose around our throats.

We should never, ever let them take our guns away from us. When that starts to take place, then we know that a police state is fully in place and they will control us through a dictatorship that even Hitler would envy.

Viet Vet Kripto
Posted by kripto551m (7 comments )
Link Flag
Gonzales Terrorizes with "Terrorism"
Alberto Gonzales use of the "terrorism card" shows how weak
their arguments have been.

So far, the government has used past powers granted to "protect
us from terrorists" to do virtually everything BUT go after
terrorists.

The latest NSA phone tracking is going after journalists.
Apparently all journalists (that speak out against the
administration) are terrorists.

This is YET ANOTHER ABUSE OF POWER by this administration.
They use fear to force capitulation.

Enough is enough!
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Welcome to ... America
We can all welcome Nazi America... we are getting closer and closer. This time its not the Jews, its Terriorism. Just like the Nazis did in the early to mid 20th century, put a picture of someone or something that causes people to be afraid. This time its terriorism, which no war will ever defeat. "Enough is enough" totally 100% true Mark.. 100% true.
Posted by aSiriusTHoTH (176 comments )
Link Flag
Gonzales Terrorizes with terrorism
I agree! Gonzales is using the terrorism card to enable the present administration and their corporate leaders to control the masses by 'tunning' into private emails and instant messages of the tax paying US citizens. It will help them find out what we know about them and whom will 'resist' their control over us as they implement the New World Order theme that they covet. They want control over the masses by using their 'terrorist card'. By taking away the liberties and rights of the US citizens they are tightening the loose around our throats.

We should never, ever let them take our guns away from us. When that starts to take place, then we know that a police state is fully in place and they will control us through a dictatorship that even Hitler would envy.

Viet Vet Kripto
Posted by kripto551m (7 comments )
Link Flag
Power by fear
This is the way our government is turning. Any time they want more power than the law gives them, they use the word terrorism and get whatever they want. Recent history shows that US intelligence agencies are spending more time spying on US citizens than figuring out where exactly Osama Bin Laden is. We have thousands of soldiers stationed in literally every country in the world and we can't find this supposedly famous and wealthy terrorist, but we sure can invoke the word terrorism to gain any information we want on our own citizens! Welcome to the government of the rich and cowardly.
Posted by Freiheit13 (92 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Only if you have something...
to fear. Read my records all day long...publish them somewhere I could give a rats behind.

Most Americans agree...
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/12/AR2006051200375.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/12/AR2006051200375.html</a>

NON issue.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
Power by fear
This is the way our government is turning. Any time they want more power than the law gives them, they use the word terrorism and get whatever they want. Recent history shows that US intelligence agencies are spending more time spying on US citizens than figuring out where exactly Osama Bin Laden is. We have thousands of soldiers stationed in literally every country in the world and we can't find this supposedly famous and wealthy terrorist, but we sure can invoke the word terrorism to gain any information we want on our own citizens! Welcome to the government of the rich and cowardly.
Posted by Freiheit13 (92 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Only if you have something...
to fear. Read my records all day long...publish them somewhere I could give a rats behind.

Most Americans agree...
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/12/AR2006051200375.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/12/AR2006051200375.html</a>

NON issue.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
Abuse
Gonzales is obviously lying. The Justice Dept couldn't get this proposal approved, so they switched to their all-purpose backup, terrorism. This government will apparently lie about anything to get more unconstitutional powers. The worst part of it is that these powers stay into the next administration, which will abuse and extend them as well, Democrat OR Republican - they're all alike.

What can we learn from this? The government is us. It's acting out our worst sides. If we the people weren't scared sheep, greedy and power-hungry, entitled to stomp the earth for our comforts, we couldn't have a government that shows all these appalling traits. We have met the enemy, and he is us.
Posted by enovikoff (170 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes and no.
I can agree with part of what you said - except the part about the government representing the people. Its a fact that positions of power - police, military, politicians, etc. can and do attract a higher percentage of neurotic, paranoid and socio-pathic personality types. Our leaders are not a cross section of personality types that make up the public.
Posted by masonx (244 comments )
Link Flag
Abuse
Gonzales is obviously lying. The Justice Dept couldn't get this proposal approved, so they switched to their all-purpose backup, terrorism. This government will apparently lie about anything to get more unconstitutional powers. The worst part of it is that these powers stay into the next administration, which will abuse and extend them as well, Democrat OR Republican - they're all alike.

What can we learn from this? The government is us. It's acting out our worst sides. If we the people weren't scared sheep, greedy and power-hungry, entitled to stomp the earth for our comforts, we couldn't have a government that shows all these appalling traits. We have met the enemy, and he is us.
Posted by enovikoff (170 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes and no.
I can agree with part of what you said - except the part about the government representing the people. Its a fact that positions of power - police, military, politicians, etc. can and do attract a higher percentage of neurotic, paranoid and socio-pathic personality types. Our leaders are not a cross section of personality types that make up the public.
Posted by masonx (244 comments )
Link Flag
Gonzales opposes all porn
If Gonzales gets his way this will be used to track all sorts of things-
child porn
adult porn
"terrorists"
"enemy combatants"
medical marijuana
hemp growers
whistleblowers
leakers
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Add to that P2P...
How much do you want to bet that Gonzales is getting kickbacks from the RIAA/MPAA for this legislation? We already know, they pay him to do there dirty work, even overseas.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
gonzales opposes all porn
Hemp should be America's number one cash crop hands down. It is not pot. Not by a long shot. One acre of hemp can produce as much fibre as four acres of timberland and can be havested up to four times a year instead of 20 -30 years for timberland. Hemp can produce superior paper in comparrison to would pulp paper. It is three times more dense than corn and can be used as fuel, feed for animals, clothing etc. It can be grown anywhere corn, soybeans, cotton, and tobacco is grown with much less need for fertilizer and pesticides. The corporate elite lobbied to get rid of the hemp farmers by getting congress to impose a one dollar a pound tax on cultivated hemp, shortly after WWII. Using hemp would substantially help the US to avoid the need of foreign oil. But it would cut into the profits of big oil and textiles and wood pulp mills so it was given a bad name by the corporate lobbyist and their propaganda machine. The US citizens have been decieved by the corporate elite and the pupet US congress that allowed this attocity to happen.

Viet Vet
Posted by kripto551m (7 comments )
Link Flag
Gonzales opposes all porn
If Gonzales gets his way this will be used to track all sorts of things-
child porn
adult porn
"terrorists"
"enemy combatants"
medical marijuana
hemp growers
whistleblowers
leakers
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Add to that P2P...
How much do you want to bet that Gonzales is getting kickbacks from the RIAA/MPAA for this legislation? We already know, they pay him to do there dirty work, even overseas.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
gonzales opposes all porn
Hemp should be America's number one cash crop hands down. It is not pot. Not by a long shot. One acre of hemp can produce as much fibre as four acres of timberland and can be havested up to four times a year instead of 20 -30 years for timberland. Hemp can produce superior paper in comparrison to would pulp paper. It is three times more dense than corn and can be used as fuel, feed for animals, clothing etc. It can be grown anywhere corn, soybeans, cotton, and tobacco is grown with much less need for fertilizer and pesticides. The corporate elite lobbied to get rid of the hemp farmers by getting congress to impose a one dollar a pound tax on cultivated hemp, shortly after WWII. Using hemp would substantially help the US to avoid the need of foreign oil. But it would cut into the profits of big oil and textiles and wood pulp mills so it was given a bad name by the corporate lobbyist and their propaganda machine. The US citizens have been decieved by the corporate elite and the pupet US congress that allowed this attocity to happen.

Viet Vet
Posted by kripto551m (7 comments )
Link Flag
Where do we draw the line?
I may be a conservative and a general supporter of the Bush administration, but I am also a strong supporter of internet privacy and freedom. When it comes to the internet, the terrorism and child porn excuse only works up to a point. When ISPs start handing over massive amounts of data on websites visted, files downloaded, etc, to the government, privacy becomes an issue. We all have our skeletons in the closet, we all have things we might not have someone else to know, so why let some overworked government technician know all our secrets? Come on people, open your eyes.
Posted by jj45 (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where do we draw the line?
I may be a conservative and a general supporter of the Bush administration, but I am also a strong supporter of internet privacy and freedom. When it comes to the internet, the terrorism and child porn excuse only works up to a point. When ISPs start handing over massive amounts of data on websites visted, files downloaded, etc, to the government, privacy becomes an issue. We all have our skeletons in the closet, we all have things we might not have someone else to know, so why let some overworked government technician know all our secrets? Come on people, open your eyes.
Posted by jj45 (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
America 2006 = Germany 1933
Give up those liberties folks, or you'll DIE!!!

What ever happened to "Give me Liberty or Give me DEATH!!"

No one in OUR Government ever get's called on this wire tapping program. Did everyone suddenly forget that it was a failure to communicate between government agencies, not the inability to wire tap without a warrant that let the 9-11 hijakers pass unnoticed?
Posted by webdev511 (254 comments )
Reply Link Flag
America 2006 = Germany 1933
Give up those liberties folks, or you'll DIE!!!

What ever happened to "Give me Liberty or Give me DEATH!!"

No one in OUR Government ever get's called on this wire tapping program. Did everyone suddenly forget that it was a failure to communicate between government agencies, not the inability to wire tap without a warrant that let the 9-11 hijakers pass unnoticed?
Posted by webdev511 (254 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't Panic!
Lets look at the facts:

1) If the govt is looking to match dial up sign on to assigned IP address, well, that's already logged and retained. No big issue there.

2) If the govt is asking for a record of any and all online activity while connected, then again no worries there. Why?

Simple:
A) Its unenforcable. Think about the amount of logging that would have to occur and then the database retrival. The cost and size would have a negative impact on your ISP's ability to provide service.

B) Who exactly must retain what? Does Sprint have to retain the traffic of their ISP subscribers or resellers of bandwidth? In addition to that ISP tracking their customers?

C) Does this mean that these ISPs are not considered common carriers?

The point and bottom line is that those making the decisions do not understand the technology and have not taken the time to think things through.

And no, the US today is not 1933 Germany.
The big difference is that in today's world, the threat is real. And of course, the US today does not think about the problem before attempting to apply a knee jerked patch to try and fix it.

With respect to the article, its sad that the author tries to tie this back in to the Telco's opening up their call logs to the US Govt. Again this issue has nothing to do with that.
Posted by dargon19888 (412 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ahhhh
someone with some common sense.

The year is 2006....technology is a weapon used by the bad guys whenever possible.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
Just simmer slowly?
"in today's world, the threat is real"

True enough but the threat is NOT from the American people. This administration doesn't seem to get that.
Posted by J_Satch (571 comments )
Link Flag
Place Frog in water, bring SLOWLY to boil
&gt;And no, the US today is not 1933 Germany.
&gt;The big difference is that in today's world, the threat is real.

FACT: There is no want to guarantee we won't be attacked again.

That is the cost of living in a free society. What is happening is
that our gov't has decided to remove those freedoms in order to
protect us. But again, we will ALWAYS be open to an attack.

If this administration was TRULY interested in protecting
America, it wouldn't have gone into Iraq, instead -- it would
have focused all its attention on finding Bin Laden and if they
were truly interested in stopping terrorism, they would first
focus on improving security on everything shipped into America.

This ploy by Gonzales is nothing more than phishing expedition.
Look how they're using the NSA phone tracking, to go after
journalists that have opposing views. Yeah, they're the threat
(please!).

Your comments suggest that you're willing to place your
freedom in the place of the water and watch it is slowly boiled
away. Like the frog story, the water heats up slowly -- so we
won't notice.

Remember, the gov't already knew about Bin Laden, the
terrorists and their plan -- and either didn't or couldn't stop
them before. NO, the "T" word was used to instill fear to seek
capitulation by the masses that don't know better.
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Link Flag
Do panic, it is enforcable, it's what the EU is doing right now.
There are so many misinformation in here, I can't dedicate enough time to go through them all, but the EU has data retention laws that go BEYOND what you describe here, including the contenets of every e-mial and phone call made in Europe.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
Don't Panic!
Lets look at the facts:

1) If the govt is looking to match dial up sign on to assigned IP address, well, that's already logged and retained. No big issue there.

2) If the govt is asking for a record of any and all online activity while connected, then again no worries there. Why?

Simple:
A) Its unenforcable. Think about the amount of logging that would have to occur and then the database retrival. The cost and size would have a negative impact on your ISP's ability to provide service.

B) Who exactly must retain what? Does Sprint have to retain the traffic of their ISP subscribers or resellers of bandwidth? In addition to that ISP tracking their customers?

C) Does this mean that these ISPs are not considered common carriers?

The point and bottom line is that those making the decisions do not understand the technology and have not taken the time to think things through.

And no, the US today is not 1933 Germany.
The big difference is that in today's world, the threat is real. And of course, the US today does not think about the problem before attempting to apply a knee jerked patch to try and fix it.

With respect to the article, its sad that the author tries to tie this back in to the Telco's opening up their call logs to the US Govt. Again this issue has nothing to do with that.
Posted by dargon19888 (412 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ahhhh
someone with some common sense.

The year is 2006....technology is a weapon used by the bad guys whenever possible.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
Just simmer slowly?
"in today's world, the threat is real"

True enough but the threat is NOT from the American people. This administration doesn't seem to get that.
Posted by J_Satch (571 comments )
Link Flag
Place Frog in water, bring SLOWLY to boil
&gt;And no, the US today is not 1933 Germany.
&gt;The big difference is that in today's world, the threat is real.

FACT: There is no want to guarantee we won't be attacked again.

That is the cost of living in a free society. What is happening is
that our gov't has decided to remove those freedoms in order to
protect us. But again, we will ALWAYS be open to an attack.

If this administration was TRULY interested in protecting
America, it wouldn't have gone into Iraq, instead -- it would
have focused all its attention on finding Bin Laden and if they
were truly interested in stopping terrorism, they would first
focus on improving security on everything shipped into America.

This ploy by Gonzales is nothing more than phishing expedition.
Look how they're using the NSA phone tracking, to go after
journalists that have opposing views. Yeah, they're the threat
(please!).

Your comments suggest that you're willing to place your
freedom in the place of the water and watch it is slowly boiled
away. Like the frog story, the water heats up slowly -- so we
won't notice.

Remember, the gov't already knew about Bin Laden, the
terrorists and their plan -- and either didn't or couldn't stop
them before. NO, the "T" word was used to instill fear to seek
capitulation by the masses that don't know better.
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Link Flag
Do panic, it is enforcable, it's what the EU is doing right now.
There are so many misinformation in here, I can't dedicate enough time to go through them all, but the EU has data retention laws that go BEYOND what you describe here, including the contenets of every e-mial and phone call made in Europe.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
Calling all spammers
Can you imagine the real treasure trove. We have the red herring of terrorism funding all of these Bush initiatives (the same guy who is spending and tax-cutting the economic future of your kids into the abyss) -- we've had a dozen or so successful attacks against us because we are woefully blind to how many folks hate us beyond our borders that have cost us trillions (mainly in inept responses, such as taking over a few countries or strong-arming others). But the real threat of this technology isn't to the terrorists -- they are smart enough to hide their communications -- no, the real threat is to the spammers. That industry that costs trillions in wasted efforts to hit the delete key, or building better filters, or buying lame software, or the morons who buy the fake rolex or viagra or herbs or sex toy or mortgage or... this is a cost to our economy that is far larger than gets reported, and is perhaps the ONLY thing DOJ is capable of tackling using this data. The terrorists will hide their trail, but the kiddiescripters need to look out :)
Posted by afterhours (215 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Calling all spammers
Can you imagine the real treasure trove. We have the red herring of terrorism funding all of these Bush initiatives (the same guy who is spending and tax-cutting the economic future of your kids into the abyss) -- we've had a dozen or so successful attacks against us because we are woefully blind to how many folks hate us beyond our borders that have cost us trillions (mainly in inept responses, such as taking over a few countries or strong-arming others). But the real threat of this technology isn't to the terrorists -- they are smart enough to hide their communications -- no, the real threat is to the spammers. That industry that costs trillions in wasted efforts to hit the delete key, or building better filters, or buying lame software, or the morons who buy the fake rolex or viagra or herbs or sex toy or mortgage or... this is a cost to our economy that is far larger than gets reported, and is perhaps the ONLY thing DOJ is capable of tackling using this data. The terrorists will hide their trail, but the kiddiescripters need to look out :)
Posted by afterhours (215 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It figures...
...that Comcast would so feverishly lead the charge to kiss the government's ass and gleefully hand over anything asked of them.

Also, if Europe is doing it, why the hell aren't we avoiding it like the plague? When did it become fashionable in this country to follow Europe's lead?
Posted by J_Satch (571 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It figures...
...that Comcast would so feverishly lead the charge to kiss the government's ass and gleefully hand over anything asked of them.

Also, if Europe is doing it, why the hell aren't we avoiding it like the plague? When did it become fashionable in this country to follow Europe's lead?
Posted by J_Satch (571 comments )
Reply Link Flag
More 'Much Ado About Nothing'
Ah, here we go again.

The government tries to do its job and prevent the next 9/11, and the wingnuts come out of the woodwork screaming about "civil liberties". As a small side note, remember that one of these precious civil liberties they're so anxious to "protect" is the right a woman has to murder her unborn child merely on a whim. Now there's a liberty worth fighting for. Our Founding Fathers certainly would be proud.

Of course, these same wingnuts who want to impeach President Bush for this "invasion of privacy" would be the ones hollering the loudest if -- or should I say 'when' -- we have another 9/11. "Why didn't the government DO something?! Impeach Bush!" You can already hear it. Sorry, gang, but you can't have it both ways.

But let's take a hypothetical, shall we? Let's say that Zacarias Moussaoui is detained by the FBI a week before 9/11. He claims that he knows a large attack on our country will take place soon, but he doesn't know how or when. All he knows it that it will involve the World Trade Center and some government buildings.

To contact his local al Queda cell, all he has is an email address.

Your mom works at the World Trade Center.

Or dad, or brother, or husband, or wife.

Now ask yourself the question again: What's it gonna be?

Do you want the Feds to be able to track down the email address and who's written it over the past year and hopefully save the life of your loved one and countless thousands of others? Or do you want to live blissfully in the knowledge that your Internet secrets are safe and the FBI will never find out about that porno site you visited last month? That's your choice, and your only one.

This, of course, is the real crux of the matter. Who GIVES a damn if the Feds have a record of your Internet activities? Ask yourself this: Are you currently doing -- or have you EVER done -- anything illegal on the 'Net? Ever? Visited a porno site? Perfectly legal. Wrote an angry email to a friend calling President Bush a "gutless coward" for (1) invading the peaceful kingdom of Saddam Hussein or (2) NOT sending enough troops in the first place? Perfectly legal. Put up a web page calling for the total destruction of America, urging the return of these "stolen" lands to Britain, France and Mexico? Perfectly legal.

No? So why are you worried?

And remember, a news agency shapes the story to fit its own political agenda. Longtime readers of this site who are also politically savvy are aware that C-Net has taken a sharp left turn in recent months. Witness the scare tactics they employ with the little header by the main link to this story:

"Attorney general says ISPs must retain records of Americans' activities..."

That gives you the impression that the ISPs don't ALREADY retain the records, but the bad, evil government wants them to, right? No, they want them to retain the records LONGER than they already do. But that's the nature of 'slant' in the news biz. Get your political point across while scaring the readers into reading the article out of pure fear. C-Net does the same thing with their "global warming" articles. Scare, hype and fear are the mainstays of the business.

Always have been, always will be.

Get it together, folks. A "civil liberty" is the right to put up an "Impeach Bush!" web site and NOT get thrown into prison. Just ask any Chinese dissident. Trying to stop the government from preventing the next 9/11 is NOT a "civil liberty", and, in the final analysis, could be considered an act of treason.
Posted by Joe Bolt (62 comments )
Reply Link Flag
use the courts
Um, whatever happened to getting a warrent? I agree there needs to be a balance struck between freedom and security, but really, how hard is it to get a warrant from a court specially designed to hand out warrants of this type, and has only refused ~5 applications in its' entire existance. And you can even get one retroactively. So, do the same thing for ISP accounts and make the agents fill out the paperwork, instead of using the issue of terrorism to save some ink. At least then some part of the system of checks and balances that protect everyone's rights will remain.
Posted by melfinatheblue (4 comments )
Link Flag
WOW....Pot calling the kettle black
You speak as if Cnet was a left leaning publication and you are just a middle of the road kind of guy. This is farther from the truth. You let slip your leanings when you mentioned abortion and murder in the same sentence. You are so far to the right it scares the hell out of me. My family has members in the armed forces in Iraq. My cousin is stationed there right now. He and I have spoken at length about what is happening here and it scares the hell out of him as well. You CANNOT give up any freedoms. Period! You DESERVE the kind of America that is coming down the road. As for myself. I plan on doing anything that I can to ensure that that doesn't come to pass. If you want to life in a "safe" society then I will BUY you a plane ticket to Chine. They have a "safe" society. As long as you don't mind THEM looking at what you are doing. Oh, I forgot, you don't.

Welcome to the Fourth reich...
Posted by Sec tech (11 comments )
Link Flag
Learn your History
Parallels can be drawn between what is going on right now and Germany in the 30's. Get an education and a clue. Preventing the next 9/11? You can't. Period. Unless you want to live in a dictatorship. This is the price of freedom. You can't have it both ways. either you want your Civil Liberties or you want to feel nice and safe. Its people like you who are killing this country and everything that people have died over the years for. I for one am willing to live with the possible threat of another 9/11 if we can maintain and open and free society. Read some of the transcripts of Hitlers speeches prior to the outbreak of WWII. Read and compare.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Link Flag
I'm with you man!
Don't sweat it. Soon, there won't be anymore of
those wingnuts around! Dude, if they so much as
step one foot outside their free-speech zones
we'll be standing there with enough info to land
their butts in jail for eternity. Heh, even if
they're clean, we'll be able to come up with
something pretty convincing with all the info we
have on `em! The rest of them will just be to
chicken open their big fat mouths.

You can help out, man. I've got some neighbors I
suspect might be "progressives" so I had this
guy I met on IRC (cheers, inf0j14ad157!) show me
how to tap their phone from my PC. You can
record it all to disk and forward anything
suspicious to the authorities (don't worry about
laws about that sort of thing, they don't
enforce laws like that against patriots). These
people work for the State Department! But, I
think I have enough to get the neighbor's kid to
slash their tires on election day -- there goes
one more pinko constitutionalist vote in the
toilet.

Seriously man, you've got to get more proactive.
At the supermarket where I work, we just set up
this new system that tracks food purchases by
credit card numbers a frequent shopper cards.
Thing is, we've got this software that can
identify terrorists by what they buy to eat!
That's right man, it's like "terrorist kosher"
or something. We just e-mail the suspects to
DHS, and they do the rest. It's sweet.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know it was
refreshing to here another voice of reason out
there. Keep your nose clean. And to you
so-called "progressives" out there: you can take
your free-press and your founding-fathers-lovin'
constitution-hugging multicultrual
peace-and-love-touting butts elsewhere -- this
is America!

Hail, Bush!
Posted by Zymurgist (397 comments )
Link Flag
Correction
Joe Bolt writes: "That gives you the impression that the ISPs don't ALREADY retain the records, but the bad, evil government wants them to, right?"

Joe, thanks for your comments, but I'm afraid you're incorrect and I need to set the record straight.

ISPs do not currently, as a general rule, keep track of email messages sent when not using their SMTP server, logs of IM correspondents, and URLs of web pages visited. This is what they would be required to do (details to come) if we adopted the European approach.

(If it's just IP address-user identity mapping, you'd have a point. But DOJ has been careful not to limit their proposals to merely that form of retention.)
Posted by declan00 (848 comments )
Link Flag
What is Liberty?
&gt;&gt;&gt;Get it together, folks. A "civil liberty" is the right to put up an "Impeach Bush!" web site and NOT get thrown into prison. Just ask any Chinese dissident.&lt;&lt;&lt;


Wrong. Liberty in America means not having anybody (not government or even fellow countrymen like yourself) define what I will do or take part in. Americans refuse to allow government to bestow upon the people some contrived "rights" that include displaying a particular sign or the like.

Government in general, and many individuals of your less principled ilk, would propose asking: What does freedom mean to you?

A. Okay, then you are free to light fireworks on July 4, and drink a chocolate milk on Tuesday. If you would like to petition for other freedoms, please sign these forms.
Posted by TK5 (4 comments )
Link Flag
Hello kettle, line one.
Letteme guess... another operative from the Bush administration set to pose as a common user to tell us all who bad we are for wanting civil liberites? My god, *** are we suppoesed to be fighting for when we go to war... oh, that's right, these days it's baout profits, not about fighting for the freedoms that we hold true as being self eveident. Those days and those concept of conservtism have been thrown away years ago. Instead, we get your ridiculous idealogy, who uses and invokes the name of conservatism, but is no where near the true principles of that waygone ideaology.

YAgain, you're another person who wears his cowardice ont heir sleeve, I'm not scared of boogeymen, and I don't intend to change my life, or my son's by giving into the terrorists, which want to disrupt our way of life and change how we live it. They want us to fear and cower forever of there presence. You are cowering, I'm standing tall, and living out life they way I would no matter what, my life doesn't mean spit if I don't have my freedoms to live that life out.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
More 'Much Ado About Nothing'
Ah, here we go again.

The government tries to do its job and prevent the next 9/11, and the wingnuts come out of the woodwork screaming about "civil liberties". As a small side note, remember that one of these precious civil liberties they're so anxious to "protect" is the right a woman has to murder her unborn child merely on a whim. Now there's a liberty worth fighting for. Our Founding Fathers certainly would be proud.

Of course, these same wingnuts who want to impeach President Bush for this "invasion of privacy" would be the ones hollering the loudest if -- or should I say 'when' -- we have another 9/11. "Why didn't the government DO something?! Impeach Bush!" You can already hear it. Sorry, gang, but you can't have it both ways.

But let's take a hypothetical, shall we? Let's say that Zacarias Moussaoui is detained by the FBI a week before 9/11. He claims that he knows a large attack on our country will take place soon, but he doesn't know how or when. All he knows it that it will involve the World Trade Center and some government buildings.

To contact his local al Queda cell, all he has is an email address.

Your mom works at the World Trade Center.

Or dad, or brother, or husband, or wife.

Now ask yourself the question again: What's it gonna be?

Do you want the Feds to be able to track down the email address and who's written it over the past year and hopefully save the life of your loved one and countless thousands of others? Or do you want to live blissfully in the knowledge that your Internet secrets are safe and the FBI will never find out about that porno site you visited last month? That's your choice, and your only one.

This, of course, is the real crux of the matter. Who GIVES a damn if the Feds have a record of your Internet activities? Ask yourself this: Are you currently doing -- or have you EVER done -- anything illegal on the 'Net? Ever? Visited a porno site? Perfectly legal. Wrote an angry email to a friend calling President Bush a "gutless coward" for (1) invading the peaceful kingdom of Saddam Hussein or (2) NOT sending enough troops in the first place? Perfectly legal. Put up a web page calling for the total destruction of America, urging the return of these "stolen" lands to Britain, France and Mexico? Perfectly legal.

No? So why are you worried?

And remember, a news agency shapes the story to fit its own political agenda. Longtime readers of this site who are also politically savvy are aware that C-Net has taken a sharp left turn in recent months. Witness the scare tactics they employ with the little header by the main link to this story:

"Attorney general says ISPs must retain records of Americans' activities..."

That gives you the impression that the ISPs don't ALREADY retain the records, but the bad, evil government wants them to, right? No, they want them to retain the records LONGER than they already do. But that's the nature of 'slant' in the news biz. Get your political point across while scaring the readers into reading the article out of pure fear. C-Net does the same thing with their "global warming" articles. Scare, hype and fear are the mainstays of the business.

Always have been, always will be.

Get it together, folks. A "civil liberty" is the right to put up an "Impeach Bush!" web site and NOT get thrown into prison. Just ask any Chinese dissident. Trying to stop the government from preventing the next 9/11 is NOT a "civil liberty", and, in the final analysis, could be considered an act of treason.
Posted by Joe Bolt (62 comments )
Reply Link Flag
use the courts
Um, whatever happened to getting a warrent? I agree there needs to be a balance struck between freedom and security, but really, how hard is it to get a warrant from a court specially designed to hand out warrants of this type, and has only refused ~5 applications in its' entire existance. And you can even get one retroactively. So, do the same thing for ISP accounts and make the agents fill out the paperwork, instead of using the issue of terrorism to save some ink. At least then some part of the system of checks and balances that protect everyone's rights will remain.
Posted by melfinatheblue (4 comments )
Link Flag
WOW....Pot calling the kettle black
You speak as if Cnet was a left leaning publication and you are just a middle of the road kind of guy. This is farther from the truth. You let slip your leanings when you mentioned abortion and murder in the same sentence. You are so far to the right it scares the hell out of me. My family has members in the armed forces in Iraq. My cousin is stationed there right now. He and I have spoken at length about what is happening here and it scares the hell out of him as well. You CANNOT give up any freedoms. Period! You DESERVE the kind of America that is coming down the road. As for myself. I plan on doing anything that I can to ensure that that doesn't come to pass. If you want to life in a "safe" society then I will BUY you a plane ticket to Chine. They have a "safe" society. As long as you don't mind THEM looking at what you are doing. Oh, I forgot, you don't.

Welcome to the Fourth reich...
Posted by Sec tech (11 comments )
Link Flag
Learn your History
Parallels can be drawn between what is going on right now and Germany in the 30's. Get an education and a clue. Preventing the next 9/11? You can't. Period. Unless you want to live in a dictatorship. This is the price of freedom. You can't have it both ways. either you want your Civil Liberties or you want to feel nice and safe. Its people like you who are killing this country and everything that people have died over the years for. I for one am willing to live with the possible threat of another 9/11 if we can maintain and open and free society. Read some of the transcripts of Hitlers speeches prior to the outbreak of WWII. Read and compare.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Link Flag
I'm with you man!
Don't sweat it. Soon, there won't be anymore of
those wingnuts around! Dude, if they so much as
step one foot outside their free-speech zones
we'll be standing there with enough info to land
their butts in jail for eternity. Heh, even if
they're clean, we'll be able to come up with
something pretty convincing with all the info we
have on `em! The rest of them will just be to
chicken open their big fat mouths.

You can help out, man. I've got some neighbors I
suspect might be "progressives" so I had this
guy I met on IRC (cheers, inf0j14ad157!) show me
how to tap their phone from my PC. You can
record it all to disk and forward anything
suspicious to the authorities (don't worry about
laws about that sort of thing, they don't
enforce laws like that against patriots). These
people work for the State Department! But, I
think I have enough to get the neighbor's kid to
slash their tires on election day -- there goes
one more pinko constitutionalist vote in the
toilet.

Seriously man, you've got to get more proactive.
At the supermarket where I work, we just set up
this new system that tracks food purchases by
credit card numbers a frequent shopper cards.
Thing is, we've got this software that can
identify terrorists by what they buy to eat!
That's right man, it's like "terrorist kosher"
or something. We just e-mail the suspects to
DHS, and they do the rest. It's sweet.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know it was
refreshing to here another voice of reason out
there. Keep your nose clean. And to you
so-called "progressives" out there: you can take
your free-press and your founding-fathers-lovin'
constitution-hugging multicultrual
peace-and-love-touting butts elsewhere -- this
is America!

Hail, Bush!
Posted by Zymurgist (397 comments )
Link Flag
Correction
Joe Bolt writes: "That gives you the impression that the ISPs don't ALREADY retain the records, but the bad, evil government wants them to, right?"

Joe, thanks for your comments, but I'm afraid you're incorrect and I need to set the record straight.

ISPs do not currently, as a general rule, keep track of email messages sent when not using their SMTP server, logs of IM correspondents, and URLs of web pages visited. This is what they would be required to do (details to come) if we adopted the European approach.

(If it's just IP address-user identity mapping, you'd have a point. But DOJ has been careful not to limit their proposals to merely that form of retention.)
Posted by declan00 (848 comments )
Link Flag
What is Liberty?
&gt;&gt;&gt;Get it together, folks. A "civil liberty" is the right to put up an "Impeach Bush!" web site and NOT get thrown into prison. Just ask any Chinese dissident.&lt;&lt;&lt;


Wrong. Liberty in America means not having anybody (not government or even fellow countrymen like yourself) define what I will do or take part in. Americans refuse to allow government to bestow upon the people some contrived "rights" that include displaying a particular sign or the like.

Government in general, and many individuals of your less principled ilk, would propose asking: What does freedom mean to you?

A. Okay, then you are free to light fireworks on July 4, and drink a chocolate milk on Tuesday. If you would like to petition for other freedoms, please sign these forms.
Posted by TK5 (4 comments )
Link Flag
Hello kettle, line one.
Letteme guess... another operative from the Bush administration set to pose as a common user to tell us all who bad we are for wanting civil liberites? My god, *** are we suppoesed to be fighting for when we go to war... oh, that's right, these days it's baout profits, not about fighting for the freedoms that we hold true as being self eveident. Those days and those concept of conservtism have been thrown away years ago. Instead, we get your ridiculous idealogy, who uses and invokes the name of conservatism, but is no where near the true principles of that waygone ideaology.

YAgain, you're another person who wears his cowardice ont heir sleeve, I'm not scared of boogeymen, and I don't intend to change my life, or my son's by giving into the terrorists, which want to disrupt our way of life and change how we live it. They want us to fear and cower forever of there presence. You are cowering, I'm standing tall, and living out life they way I would no matter what, my life doesn't mean spit if I don't have my freedoms to live that life out.
Posted by MisterFlibble (207 comments )
Link Flag
In control
We needed an excuse and now we have one. Thankyou terriosts and porn people for if it was not for you we would not be able to gain control over the lives of every individul on this earth.

Thanks

Your Goverment

PS Please consider us like your Big Brother who only wants to help you. We are your Buddy and We are your Friend!
Posted by Ted Miller (305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
In control
We needed an excuse and now we have one. Thankyou terriosts and porn people for if it was not for you we would not be able to gain control over the lives of every individul on this earth.

Thanks

Your Goverment

PS Please consider us like your Big Brother who only wants to help you. We are your Buddy and We are your Friend!
Posted by Ted Miller (305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Im moving to china...
Guess China will soon take the spot of "land of the free".

The us is so freaking stuiped. War Driving is what A LOT of thos numbnuts do. *** are they going to do to stop it? The bad guys KNOW that this stuff can be tracked and traced. They will just use sombody elses ISP to do it.... and we will have big brother breathing down our neck as they wath us.
Posted by mrchaos101 (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Netherlands or Germany
Take a look at thier laws regarding porn, age of consent, drinking and so forth, and you will understand why they laugh at us.
Posted by Too Old For IT (351 comments )
Link Flag
The Netherlands, Malta or Germany
Take a look at thier laws regarding porn, age of consent, drinking and so forth, and you will understand why they laugh at us.
Posted by Too Old For IT (351 comments )
Link Flag
 

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