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New Bill Would Require US ISPs To Retain User Info 132

Posted by timothy
from the thanks-rep-smith-thanks-a-lot dept.
Wesociety writes "The House Judiciary Committee, lead by Rep. Lamar Smith, is preparing a bill which would require internet service providers to retain information about their users to aid in criminal investigations. This particular bill would be a smaller part of a large measure to strengthen sanctions against acts such as child pornography. The most interesting part of this bill however is not who it targets but rather who it does not. The bill would make wireless companies exempt from the requirement to store user data." Declan McCullagh gives a fuller report at CNET. Update: 05/14 00:35 GMT by T : Note: Smith has yet to release the text of the current bill, but it seems an easy bet it will have much in common with his similar-sounding legislative push in 2007, which resulted in the unsuccessful SAFETY Act of 2009.
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New Bill Would Require US ISPs To Retain User Info

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  • So . . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Friday May 13, 2011 @07:59PM (#36123476)

    If you care about privacy or security, you're either a child molester or a terrorist, I guess.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Qatz (1209584)
      Really? I just don;t want them snooping on me browsing shemale and transvestite porn.
      • by nurb432 (527695)

        At least for your sake that is legal, for now.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I make my own shemale porn.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Soviet shemale porn made YOU!

    • Re:So . . . (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, 2011 @08:52PM (#36123764)

      "If you care about privacy or security, you're either a child molester or a terrorist, I guess."

      Or a copyright infringer. Don't forget that one.

    • by inKubus (199753)

      Well and this sentence:

      The most interesting part of this bill however is not who it targets but rather who it does not. The bill would make wireless companies exempt from the requirement to store user data.

      Let's see, if I wanted to spy on people without them knowing, would I want them sending signals down twisted pair or broadcasting them in all directions? ;)

  • if (bribe.amount == 0) amendment[3].delete(); // FIXME: Remember to s/bribe/campaign\ contribution/ before public release

    • bribe.amount? Why do you have a `Bribe` class and methods and attributes does it define?

      • by chammy (1096007)
        In his snip "bribe" isn't a class name. It could be a "Transaction" named "bribe" or something
  • Poor Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hinesbrad (1923872) on Friday May 13, 2011 @08:06PM (#36123514)
    Wow. Once again congress, a body largely filled with old farts who has zero concept of how far reaching their laws might hit. RIAA just had an orgasm.
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Its not just about the RIAA.

      Just wait until the rules change and they have retroactive data so can arrest you for what you did a year ago that is now illegal.

      • by Ingenu (2127512) on Friday May 13, 2011 @08:15PM (#36123568)

        Its not just about the RIAA.

        Just wait until the rules change and they have retroactive data so can arrest you for what you did a year ago that is now illegal.

        Ex post facto laws are generally unenforceable. Beware of the day, however, where an ex post facto law makes ex post facto laws legal.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          But they'll find some way to use the logs as evidence for a seizure of your pc to look for the 'now illegal'.

        • by BitterOak (537666)

          Ex post facto laws are generally unenforceable. Beware of the day, however, where an ex post facto law makes ex post facto laws legal.

          I'm afraid it's too late. It seems ex post facto laws are legal now [wikipedia.org], if some creative redefinitions are employed.

          • by swalve (1980968)
            Exactly how does that make something that was done legally suddenly illegal?
            • by BitterOak (537666)

              Exactly how does that make something that was done legally suddenly illegal?

              In the example I gave, it doesn't make something that was legal suddenly illegal, but it drastically changes the penalty after the fact. Suppose after you were caught speeding and plead guilty, the penalty went up from a $200 fine to 5 years imprisonment. That also qualifies as an ex post facto law.

        • by nurb432 (527695)

          Not when it comes to 'forbidden knowledge'. That doesn't get grandfathered in.

      • Yep, makes the thousands of terabytes downloaded a year via wardriving worth it.
    • Oh no - I think they know EXACTLY how far reaching this kind of law is.

    • by jo42 (227475)

      A top House Republican is planning to propose that Internet service providers be required to store information about their customers...

      The GOP seriously needs to change it's name to The Fascist Party of Amerika.

      • Re:Poor Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

        by artor3 (1344997) on Friday May 13, 2011 @08:40PM (#36123700)

        I prefer American Taliban. It's more accurate, in that it captures their (ab)use of religion to justify their actions and rally the weak-minded to their cause.

        The democrats are no angels, but the republicans are devils.

        • I prefer American Taliban. It's more accurate, in that it captures their (ab)use of religion to justify their actions and rally the weak-minded to their cause.

          The democrats are no angels, but the republicans are devils.

          I disagree: the Taliban are brutal, genocidal fanatics suffering from religious intoxication who believe that their God wants them to be that way. Our officials are not remotely like that, and fascism (well, corporatism, which is a more apt term) is much more representative of their goals, policies and practices. They're all about money and power, nothing more. The religious overtones exhibited by some of our elected officials is nothing but a cover designed to appeal to certain subset of our population, wh

      • Re:Poor Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lexsird (1208192) on Saturday May 14, 2011 @12:38AM (#36124790)

        Sadly, this is becoming oh so true. It's come to the point that it's not just Leftwing liberal drivel, it's actually a viable statement. You will find a lot of parallels to the Nazis. I am sure the good people of Germany at the time had no idea what they were being handed until it was too late. They were indoctrinated with some very timely Nationalism, had someone to blame to galvanize them together and a unified goal with a vision. Of course it was barking mad from the top down, but nothing like a Prussian plan when it comes together.

        Now here we are, the trumpets of nationalism are blowing super loud, religion is being factored in as well. Our war machine is like no other in history and we are wanting more oil, and we are at the moment seemingly poor. Hmm... Nothing like keeping those American Peasants beat down with high gas prices. They have been doing this to us for over 30 years, gouging us at the pumps and shoveling money into all the right pockets to keep it that way. We are collectively stupid enough to let them get away with it, hence they continue to.

        But this "culture" has made keeping people in "order". Sweet Jesus, we bitch and moan about Chinese violations of civil rights, yet we violate our own Constitution with the Patriot Act. Our prison systems are an industry unto themselves. We have more people in prison than any other country in the world, hell, at what point do we have more people in prison than the rest of the world combined? Do you know how much money they get from us the tax payers to house these people?? This is one brilliant method of population domination.

        Separation of Church and State, now that is an awesome concept, and let me explain why. It really defines the the lines of our Faith and the utility of government. Neither are suppose to toy with each other, and besides Public Service was for Public Servants, not Public Masters. The citizenry should be held in the highest of esteem, towering over, not groveling under public servants.

        Government is in your Church, if you don't know this, you are ignorant. You are not held in the highest of esteem by the system, you are a lemming peasant; public servants will crush you like a bug if you look crossways at them. Don't think so? Sneer the wrong way at the wrong cop and get back to me on that. But don't worry, it's all ok. You will forget about all of this nonsense soon enough. Welcome to information bombardment with redundant contingencies for reinforcing and modifying your behavior. No, no, I don't think Fascism quiet covers it, nor do the Nazis. We are birthing an evil that is all our own, it will have our names on it and we will not share the infamy with anyone else.

        What I find amazing is how all of these "right wing" people think they are "Christian". This is the irony and the tragedy of our age. I believe these are the ones warned about in the last days, that are deceived. Leave it to institutionalizing Christianity to flip it into something of the Devil. You can't become involved in politics as a church, or a faith. These are just things that shouldn't mix, ever. First of all, we don't need a middleman, and any religious organization that props one up and tells you that you do, is straight from Hell. Lets run down the highway to Hell even faster by letting these "middlemen" sell us into political prostitution.

        Let's face some serious facts. If God was going to have us become political, he sure wouldn't have us associate with either of these dominate political parties. Both of these parties are teaming with heathens. If you were going to have a Party that was "for God", then you had better sure as shit make sure it's a HOLY one and without any of the typical political vermin we have lurking in Washington. Doesn't God have this particular habit of when something subpar to him is placed before him as an offering or as to "his will", that he drop kicks it in the balls? It had better be up to his standards and you had better be listening the fuck up when he talks.

        Now is there anyone around that is

        • Doesn't God have this particular habit of when something subpar to him is placed before him as an offering or as to "his will", that he drop kicks it in the balls?

          Hah I wish. Then Bush would have been vaporized by a lightning bolt when he said God told him to go to war in Iraq. Or at least hit in the balls by a meteorite. And pretty soon everyone would just stop dealing with this God person for safety reasons.

          • Doesn't God have this particular habit of when something subpar to him is placed before him as an offering or as to "his will", that he drop kicks it in the balls?

            Hah I wish. Then Bush would have been vaporized by a lightning bolt when he said God told him to go to war in Iraq. Or at least hit in the balls by a meteorite. And pretty soon everyone would just stop dealing with this God person for safety reasons.

            Not much question that he can be a mean bastard. Like it or not, Lucifer had a point.

      • The GOP is little more than the old racist democrats that flipped over back in '64 in reaction to the passage of the civil rights act. And the 'new' democratic party is really nothing more than a bunch of syndicate thugs. Both are equally fascist, under the control of big business..

      • by slick7 (1703596)

        A top House Republican is planning to propose that Internet service providers be required to store information about their customers...

        The GOP seriously needs to change it's name to The Fascist Party of Amerika.

        These career criminal politicians need to be reminded that they are not the bosses. RECALL THEM ALL [fapit.net]

  • by Rivalz (1431453) on Friday May 13, 2011 @08:12PM (#36123544)

    So child porn people will have to use 3g/4g/wifi based inet to avoid being nabbed easily.
    Leaving just the average joe left to get screwed by the long arm of the law.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That's fine, LTE is faster than DSL anyway. :P

    • I met a guy who was arrested for child porn and he wasn't smart enough to use wireless to avoid detection. I'm sure a lot of them are though.
    • by EdIII (1114411)

      Exactly. Anybody that is actually serious about child porn uses different methods. At minimum they use TOR and FreeNet, then establish webs of trust that are actually pretty hard to get into. There have been several articles in the last few years about huge child porn rings busted in multiple countries that were using pretty sophisticated methods to communicate and nothing was in plain text. It required some actual detective work and identifying the victims to make headway in those cases. I can remembe

  • by slashqwerty (1099091) on Friday May 13, 2011 @08:14PM (#36123554)
    If this passes we will see lots of innocent people prosecuted due to buggy audit trails that are never tested. Seriously, when is the last time anyone tested their audit code to make sure it works properly? If it doesn't crash the app no one worries about it. I've seen all manner of bogus data in audit trails.

    Now ISPs will need audit trails on DHCP leases, connections through proxy servers, NAT translations, email senders and receivers, clock synchronizations...
    • by stms (1132653)
      Not to mention saving all data sent over SSL/VPN.
    • If this passes we will see lots more innocent people prosecuted...

      Despite the unemployment rate, there actually is a labor shortage. The use of prison labor will help immensely in controlling things like the costs of care for the aging baby boomers and other unskilled occupations currently using undocumented workers. Might even keep social security above water for some time to come.. We need to lock up as many people as we possibly can. An 'innocent' person is simply too difficult to manage or control. They

    • by sincewhen (640526)

      You make a good point. Wasn't there a recent kerfuffle about how inaccurate ISP metering is (which is an issue now that caps are being put in place)?
      If they can't get the billing data right, what chance that they will get these logs right when they are only kept because they are mandated by the legislation?

      • You make a good point. Wasn't there a recent kerfuffle about how inaccurate ISP metering is (which is an issue now that caps are being put in place)? If they can't get the billing data right, what chance that they will get these logs right when they are only kept because they are mandated by the legislation?

        Like anything else, some will do it right and some won't, the problem being that there's no way to tell the difference when it gets to court.

    • clock synchronizations

      Especially important in cases involving dynamic IPs.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I lose my privacy while pedophiles start downloading child porn onto their iPhones instead?

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Friday May 13, 2011 @08:15PM (#36123566) Homepage Journal

    This action violates my treaty rights as a Canadian Citizen.

    As well as those of all EU citizens.

    Which the US is signatory to by international treaty, which by force of law and the US Constitution, is of a higher level than any Congressional action or bill.

    Period.

    • by Seumas (6865)

      As an American Citizen let me inform you, across the border, that our Constitution doesn't really mean much of anything anymore.

      • I meant under NAFTA and FTA treaties for Canadians working legally in the US.

        • by Sarten-X (1102295)
          How exactly does NAFTA make you exempt from US's policies, when dealing with a US company on US soil? My understanding is that NAFTA provides an easy process to work in any of the three countries, and removes tariffs on traded goods. I don't recall (nor can I find) any provision requiring citizenship-based exemptions from laws.
    • That's not really much of an argument, the US Constitution is more important that treaties and will certainly trump those, if push comes to shove. No international agreement will ever outweigh the constitution, and if some US politician ever suggests that it does, they will rightfully be run out of office.

            It's also probably not constitutional, and it's likely a violation of the 4th amendment, and almost certainly the 10th. That argument might carry some weight.

      • Try actually reading the US Constitution.

        See that part about International Treaties compared to Congressional Bills?

        Yeah, that part says Treaties override House Bills made into laws.

        • I have read it, twit. You might have a technical argument, but the first politician to suggest that we make our laws subservient to international treaties will be run out of town on a rail. It's a non-starter, it amounts to yielding sovereignty to someone else, and Americans *will not stand for that* under almost any circumstances.

          • If americans don't care about the government ignoring their constitution then I very much doubt they will care about the gov signing away their rights by treaty.
          • I have read it, twit. You might have a technical argument, but the first politician to suggest that we make our laws subservient to international treaties will be run out of town on a rail. It's a non-starter, it amounts to yielding sovereignty to someone else, and Americans *will not stand for that* under almost any circumstances.

            Yes, well, you should a. not call people twits and b. look into things like ACTA.

        • I can't find the section you're referring to, and my research seems to indicate that laws passed by Congress supersede earlier conflicting international treaties. Perhaps you could indicate what you're referring to?

      • Exactly. The Constitution is what gives the government the right to negotiate and sign binding treaties. Theoretically, no law can supersede it, however you can be damn sure they're trying.
    • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Friday May 13, 2011 @08:31PM (#36123658) Homepage
      How, exactly? What treaty says that the US laws can't apply to Canadians when they do business in the US?
    • Don't worry. As the Wikileaks cables prove, if the Canadian government has any concerns about US international relations they can take those concerns to the US and have them rapidly dismissed [wikileaks.fi] so that the discussion can turn to more important things, like when Canadian law will change to better suit American corporate interests.

      After the usual denouncement of the Special 301 process (which we hear every year)....

    • We already have the data retention directive in the EU, seems this is something similar. It hasn't been implemented here in Sweden quite yet, the Left party and the Greens managed to get it tabled for a year in parliament recently, one can always hope that now that one the architects of the whole thing is no longer in a leading position of the social democrats, they will reconsider, but I sort of doubt it, and the right wing will reconsider when hell freezes over. The government of course uses the excuse th

  • The government has no right to require other citizens, whether natural or not to collect information in the hopes to catch an undefined crime that has yet to be determined. This is an invasion of our privacy and we need people to speak up and stop this circle jerking of our rights.

    • by bky1701 (979071)
      Good luck with that. The teabaggers and other mentally deficient groups will just claim you're soft on kiddie porn, and probably end up arresting you sooner or later.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Interesting viewpoint.

        The general thought is the "tea baggers" are more likely to be against the child porn laws as a growth of the Federal government, and that it should be handled at a lower level.

  • Child pornography and terrorism have been the major excuses for taking away civil rights the last few years. And they are useful excuses, as anybody trying to oppose a proposal made with such an excuse has to suffer guilt by association, even if completely unfair.
  • Setting the issue of data retention aside for the moment, why exempt wireless providers? Bribe^H^H^H^H^HCampaign contributions?

    Wouldn't this violate the Equal Protection Clause [wikipedia.org] by pursuing pedophiles with wire-based broadband while ignoring 3G equipped perverts?

    • There is nothing that says the government has to go all the way the first time. The government can make incremental steps to achieve its goals. Lee Optical.

      But, yeah, probably money.

  • Can anyone with relevant experience at a major ISP give an estimate of how big the 90-day rolling logfile would be for even one company? Would it be terabytes/million subscribers and exabytes for an entire country? Do any of the major ISPs have the infrastructure to store this much information at the moment? Imagine the electrical power needed to store this much (mostly useless) information--not exactly environmentally friendly. Perhaps a Beowulf cluster could... (ducks)
    • by tnk1 (899206)

      It's actually not as much data as you would think. I managed a site that did hundreds of millions of hits per day, and our daily apache access logs together were about 7GB on average. And that includes all of the junk that you would expect in an httpd log like originating IP, date, access time, return code and destination URL for every transaction, even the ones that you didn't manually initiate. It's a lot of text, for sure, but 90 days of that would be less than a cheap 1TB SATA drive.

      A major ISP would

      • Hundreds of millions of hits is every Internet user in the US going to one or two sites. Billions to the tens of billions is more likely the kind of daily transaction records you're looking at if it's HTTP. The story appears to say it would be IP address mappings, which sounds much more manageable and may even end up with more users getting the pseudo-static IP addresses that some ISPs use (my IP hasn't changed in years, despite power outages and Internet disruption).

    • If this bill actually happens, I'll have to make it a point to waste as much of my ISP's disk space as possible.
  • How is this any different than having a goverment employee assigned to keep track of what you are doing every moment of the day, just in case you do commit a crime? God I love this country...
  • by b4upoo (166390) on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:29PM (#36123910)

    How can we call ourselves free without requiring our family members an children to turn us all into the Gestapo, I mean police, I mean the recording industry.

  • I just imagine the look of total shock on their faces when someone tells them their laws dont actually effect the rest of the world where the Internet resides.
    • by lennier1 (264730)

      It's only a matter of time.
      The real people behind this are currently trying to shove the same stuff down the population of other countries (e.g., EU nations like Spain and Germany). After that it won't be long until there's something like the agreement to share SWIFT transaction data.

  • by quickgold192 (1014925) on Friday May 13, 2011 @10:29PM (#36124182)
    I presumed the govt will be asking for those records. Since "in free governments, the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns [wikipedia.org]", and I am a citizen who is supposed to be part of this govt... may I please have a peek at those records? No?


    ...why not?
  • It never got out of committee. But now Lamar Smith is the chair.
    Lamar Smith [R-TX21] chair
    John Conyers [D-MI14] ranking Democrat

    Sandy Adams [R-FL24]
    Howard Berman [D-CA28]
    Steven Chabot [R-OH1]
    Jason Chaffetz [R-UT3]
    Judy Chu [D-CA32]
    Howard Coble [R-NC6]
    Steve Cohen [D-TN9]
    Ted Deutch [D-FL19]
    Randy Forbes [R-VA4]
    Trent Franks [R-AZ2]
    Elton Gallegly [R-CA24]
    Louis Gohmert [R-TX1]
    Robert Goodlatte [R-VA6]
    Trey Gowdy [R-SC4]
    Tim Griffin [R-AR2]
    Darrell Issa [R-CA49]
    Sheila Jackson-Lee [D-TX18]
    Henry Johnson [D-GA4]
    Jim Jordan

  • by MrKaos (858439) on Friday May 13, 2011 @10:48PM (#36124282) Journal
    Seems to me that democracy has been under intense attack in the legislature for the last ten years now. I'm not saying that it hasn't happened before there just seems to be another one of these bills presented every month or so in all the western democracies not just the US. It often leaves me wondering what the agenda is and, more importantly, who's agenda it is?

    Most of the time the really offensive proposals include a variation on the theme "to combat child pornography" to frame anyone who opposes it as someone who support child pornography. Seems to me that we are becoming a Democracy in theory but not in practice, maybe we always have.

    • by rts008 (812749)

      To crudely paraphrase a somewhat famous quote, by someone I have forgotten:
      'The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.', or something like that.

      I do agree with your comment overall, but the second part of your last sentence I have an issue with.

      Seems to me that we are becoming a Democracy in theory but not in practice, maybe we always have.

      [my emphasis]

      IMHO, we have not always had this problem. It seems to me that this started shortly after we developed career politicians.

      Once we eliminated the stress/hardship of being away from the day to day means of making a living to attend the legislature, it beca

      • Once we eliminated the stress/hardship of being away from the day to day means of making a living to attend the legislature, it became easier for our politicians to become disconnected from their constituents/the 'common man', and whore themselves[their influence] out to the deepest pockets.

        Once the government got a big enough budget that bribing government officials to get a piece of it became immensely profitable, it became easier for out politicians to become disconnected from their constituents/the 'com

      • by MrKaos (858439)

        To crudely paraphrase a somewhat famous quote, by someone I have forgotten: 'The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.', or something like that.

        I do agree with your comment overall, but the second part of your last sentence I have an issue with.

        Seems to me that we are becoming a Democracy in theory but not in practice, maybe we always have.

        [my emphasis]

        IMHO, we have not always had this problem. It seems to me that this started shortly after we developed career politicians.

        I do agree with you and even though I was just a kid in the 70's, I remember. It seems to me there is no subtlety anymore. "They" used to use covert operations, now "they" don't seem to care who knows what "they" are up to anymore. Wholesale pillaging of the worlds wealth into private interests. Politics is no longer functional as it is locked in this party tug-o-war while a plethora of structural issues continue to decay past critical.

        Frankly, it bodes of a system that is collapsing and acts like these a

  • Do you think GPS satellites only transmit? They don't need to retain data they can receive directly and store forever.
  • What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Either we're outraged at the level of privacy invasion perpetrated by big business, and should out-law cookies / require a do-not-track opt out -- OR -- We require big business to record the browsing habits of citizens for many years, just in case anyone wants to have a look.... BUT WE CAN'T HAVE BOTH.
    • I'd say this is one of those cases where you don't want to push the dilemma on them too hard, because we know which horn they'd take.

  • The ISP has to keep records.

    Ok.

    Now if I were an ISP and wanted to protect my users, I'd try to make these records as un-useful as possible:

    1. Shorten the DHCP lease time.

    2. Hack the dhcp server code so that it ignored the renew my address, but passed out a new address each time.

    3. At the same time, hack the logging code so that time stamps were in microfortnights since last dhcp server restart.

    4. In addition, tweak the format so that it was not trivial to parse. The easiest way to do this would be to h

  • I suspect Piracy.

    Thats all this is about. Child Pornography is such a TINY fraction of online activity.

    Every CHILD in this country uses torrents. Very few people seek out child porn.

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      I would say that the CP aspect is being used because "for the children" is one of the root passwords (perhaps the toor password) to the Constitution, and the justice "system" [1].

      [1]: I call it a "system", but in reality, it is more like a human centipede than anything else if you really think about it.

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