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Sonic.net's CEO On Why ISPs Should Only Keep User Logs Two Weeks 190

Posted by timothy
from the privacy-has-value dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Dane Jasper's tiny Internet service provider Sonic.net briefly took the national spotlight last October, when it contested a Department of Justice order that it secretly hand over the data of privacy activist and WikiLeaks associate Jacob Appelbaum. But Sonic.net has actually been quietly implementing a much more fundamental privacy measure: For the past eighteen months it's only kept logs of user data for two weeks before deletion, compared with 18 to 36 months at Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner and other ISPs. In a lengthy Q&A, he explains how he came to the decision to limit logging after a series of shakedowns by copyright lawyers attempting to embarrass users who had downloaded porn films, and he argues that it's time all ISPs adopt the two-week rule."
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Sonic.net's CEO On Why ISPs Should Only Keep User Logs Two Weeks

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  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Monday June 25, 2012 @06:51AM (#40436813) Homepage

    European law forces ISPs to retain traffic data for half a year. Germany is the only state currently refusing to implement the law, but I don't have any illusions that this will last.

  • by oobayly (1056050) on Monday June 25, 2012 @07:04AM (#40436885)

    Oh no, they don't tag things onto bills in the UK, they just plough ahead and write new legislation while ignoring experts, the industry and most importantly, public opinion. Politicians over here don't give a shit about how stupid their legislation makes them - you could stick a red rosette on a pig and it would get elected in Birmingham. Likewise, you could stick a blue rosette on a fox (the one you hunt, not the one you eye up in the pub) in my constituency and it'd get elected.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 25, 2012 @08:01AM (#40437181)

    Sorry to squash your hopes, but it's a little more complicated. Germany supported the EU directive which it now refuses to implement. It had implemented it as well, but the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) found the implementation to be unconstitutional. There is currently strong opposition among the public to a new implementation that the Interior Ministers are pushing, and this has fueled the rise of the Pirate Party, but inside the government, the liberal Justice Minister (Mrs Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger) is about the only remaining obstacle to data retention. When (not if) they push it through, it will be brought before the Federal Constitutional Court again, where it may pass if they just word it right.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 25, 2012 @08:16AM (#40437277)

    There is nothing "free" about it. For many ISP's, that logging is a valuable commodity to sell for targeted advertising.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 25, 2012 @08:38AM (#40437461)

    Dane's a good guy. I had a creative writing class with him 15 years ago. He chooses to pay his people well AND provide less expensive service to his customers. I'm sure there's not much left over for him.

    have you checked sonic.net's prices?

  • by chill (34294) on Monday June 25, 2012 @08:44AM (#40437503) Journal

    For those who argue that they have nothing to hide, I suggest they read Daniel J. Solove's "I've Got Nothing to Hide and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy" [ssrn.com] for a succinct explanation of the issues.

    For those with more detail-oriented interests, I suggest picking up a couple of his books on the issue of Privacy. A partial list can be found at his website [gwu.edu].

  • Rural ISP's (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 25, 2012 @09:32AM (#40437885)

    I'm a network analyst for a Rual ISP, and we keep DHCP logs for 1 month, pending no DMCA request. If we do receive a DMCA request we look up the customer's DHCP records, and record a separate log containing only that customers DHCP records; flushing the remaining logs.

    Unlike larger ISP's, we don't turn over anything unless it's a court ordered.

    Oh, and we don't forward on those drive-by copyright infringement notices from copyrightsettlements.com, but we do retain them for legal reasons, but nothing emailed to us is considered a valid request unless it is snail mailed via certified mail.

  • Re:Duopoly (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nethead (1563) <joe@nethead.com> on Monday June 25, 2012 @05:00PM (#40444309) Homepage Journal

    There are other options for DSL. The ILEC has to allow other ISPs to colocate a DSLAM and use their outdoor plant to deliver IP. If you're in the Seattle area a good choice is w-link.net. A true Mom & Pop shop where the person that answers the phone has enable on the routers. It costs me about $50/month for DSL and two static IPv4 addresses.

    If you are in another area, use your googlefoo to find someone.

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