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Hawaiian Bill Would Force ISPs to Track Users' Web Histories For 2 Years

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  • by peter303 (12292) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:14AM (#38828659)
    One might claim since so much of web commercial activity is trans-border, only the feds can pass this type of law.
  • Umm, what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:30AM (#38828905) Journal
    Does anybody have any idea what suddenly possessed Hawaii to freak out about that 'internet' thing that those hackers and terrorists are using?

    Has the state been chosen as a soft target in which to pass model legislation by some sinister entertainment industry and/or surveillance state interest group? Is some two-bit local senator trying to weather a 'caught-with-2.5-prostitutes-in-a-blood-soaked-bed' scandal? Are radical Hawaiian nativists waging a guerrilla war to re-establish the monarchy? WTF?
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:34AM (#38828961) Homepage

    Specifically, the Fourth Amendment eliminates the authority of the federal government to monitor private communications (as interpreted by SCOTUS, phone calls, emails, etc are considered part of the 'papers and effects'), and the Fourteenth Amendment means the same rule also applies to the states.

    Not that that's really going to stop this sort of thing from being implemented, since the only opposition will come from those without political power.

  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:48AM (#38829159)

    If the ISPs had any balls, they'd tell the HI government that, if they pass this law, the ISPs would simply cease to provide internet service to HI residents. And if they do pass the bill, make good on the promise. It's either that or be forced by the HI government to buy terabytes of disk space and thousands of dollars of computers to track everything the HI internet user does. Politicians should not make laws about technology that they don't understand.

    You mean the balls to go out of business?

    1) You can also go out of business by being mandated costs you cannot afford.

    2) Most companies providing Internet in the US now are multi-state, so dropping one would not end their corporate existence.

    But, if this applies to hotel Internet as well, I could see the hotels dropping it, and if all the tourists suddenly go WTF together...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:07PM (#38831915)

    Hopefully to be modded into the light of day...

    There are two sides to Hawaii: Honolulu/Oahu (and parts of Maui) are developed places with real infrastructure, but the rest of the state is generally a depressed backwater with pockets of third-world conditions.

    The Big Island is home to many huge subdivisions which have no consumer broadband: Telcom won't deploy DSL, and the cable company won't bother because it's not profitable -- this even includes parts of Hilo, which is the most-developed town on the east side of the island. Dial-up internet is very common here, but there are even places with no POTS service.

    Increasing the costs of something we don't already have is the surest way to make sure these services are never deployed, which makes me really wonder about the underlying agenda.

  • by J053 (673094) <J053@@@shangri-la...cx> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:50PM (#38833195) Homepage Journal

    I am writing in opposition to HB 2288, which if enacted will impose onerous reporting requirements on anyone providing Internet access in the State of Hawaii and expose the citizens of Hawaii to the possible exposure of their online habits.

    This Bill requires any "company that provides access to the Internet" (sec. 1, line 6-7) to "retain customer records" including "each subscriber's information and internet destination history information" for "no less than two years" (sec. 1, lines 14-17). The "internet destination history information" is to include the Internet protocol address, domain name, or host name of every destination contacted by a subscriber.

    It is no business of the State (or my Internet provider, for that matter) what sites I visit on the Internet. Most Internet providers currently have their subscribers' information, but very few record the destination of the subscribers' connections. This Bill would impose a requirement on all Internet providers to record and retain this information, which would require a large investment in equipment and network configuration expertise to achieve.

    It is also unclear to whom this Bill would apply. Clearly the intent is for it to apply to Internet Service Providers, but given the language of "company that provides access to the Internet", it could be held to apply to coffe shops, hotels, Internet cafes, or even the individual who fails to secure a wireless home Internet router. For even moderately busy providers, this would be a huge amount of data which must be recorded and stored.

    More importantly, there is no provision in this Bill to safeguard the information collected. Data on an individual's Internet traffic habits could be extremely sensitive - for example, an employer might be able to discover that an employee participates in workplace safety discussions from his/her home, information that the individual might not want the employer to know about. Under this Bill, there is no prohibition against Internet providers selling this sensitive customer information to anyone,
    nor are there any provisions requiring judicial review before the State (police, prosecutors, etc.) acquire these records.

    As the manager of a corporate Internet-connected network, would this Bill require me to monitor all of my organization's users' Internet traffic? That would be a huge invasion of their privacy. If not, then the Bill is useless, since all traffic from my organization appears (to my upstream provider) to come from a single Internet address. How would this Bill accomplish anything in this case?

    In summary, this is a poorly thought out, fundamentally flawed Bill that would do nothing to solve any current or even perceived problem, would impose onerous data retention and reporting requirements on all providers of Internet connectivity, and would expose the citizens of Hawaii to an unprecedented invasion of their privacy. I urge you to reject this Bill.

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