US Justice Department wants Internet, cell records held longer

Jan 25, 2011
A woman gambles on-line in 2010.The US Justice Department wants Internet service providers and cell phone companies to be required to hold on to records for longer to help with criminal prosecutions.

The US Justice Department wants Internet service providers and cell phone companies to be required to hold on to records for longer to help with criminal prosecutions.

"Data retention is fundamental to the department's work in investigating and prosecuting almost every type of crime," US deputy assistant attorney general Jason Weinstein told a congressional subcommittee on Tuesday.

"Some records are kept for weeks or months; others are stored very briefly before being purged," Weinstein said in remarks prepared for delivery to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

He said Internet records are often "the only available evidence that allows us to investigate who committed crimes on the Internet."

Internet and phone records can be "crucial evidence" in a wide array of cases, including child exploitation, violent crime, fraud, terrorism, public corruption, drug trafficking, online piracy and , Weinstein said but only if the data still exists when law enforcement needs it.

"In some ways, the problem of investigations being stymied by a lack of data retention is growing worse," he told lawmakers.

Weinstein noted inconsistencies in data retention, with one mid-sized cell phone company not keeping records, a cable Internet provider not tracking the addresses it assigns to customers and another only keeping them for seven days.

Law enforcement is hampered by a "legal regime that does not require providers to retain non-content data for any period of time" while investigators must request records on a case-by-case basis through the courts, he said.

"The investigator must realize he needs the records before the provider deletes them, but providers are free to delete records after a short period of time, or to destroy them immediately," Weinstein added.

The justice official said greater data retention requirements raise legitimate but "any privacy concerns about data retention should be balanced against the needs of law enforcement to keep the public safe."

John Morris, general counsel at the non-profit Center for Democracy & Technology, said mandatory data retention "raises serious privacy and free speech concerns."

"A key to protecting privacy is to minimize the amount of data collected and held by ISPs and online companies in the first place," he said.

"Mandatory data retention laws would require companies to maintain large databases of subscribers' personal information, which would be vulnerable to hackers, accidental disclosure, and government or other third party access."

Kate Dean, executive director of the Association, said broad mandatory data retention requirements would be "fraught with legal, technical and practical challenges."

Dean said they would require "an entire industry to retain billions of discrete electronic records due to the possibility that a tiny percentage of them might contain evidence related to a crime."

"We think that it is important to weigh that potential value against the impact on the millions of innocent Internet users' privacy," she said.

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TabulaMentis
5 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2011
(1): Federal, state and local governments, including watchdog groups, need to start tracing, exposing, arresting, and fining the people, and closing-down the companies that are associated with voyeuristic, and manipulative Web sites/servers that illegally gather information (stolen information and information obtained by electronic devices used in an illegal manner) about peoples whereabouts, financial activities, financial data, computer data, private conversations, and in some cases video images, in real-time, from within, and around the victim's vehicle, vessel, home, office, motel, and/or hotel room for those to see, and hear, who have, use or supply the User IDs, and passwords to those illegal Web sites/servers. (2): Secure Federal government databases not subject to tampering should be required to store Internet activities provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), including internal searches by ISP employees, government employees, etc., for a period of ten (10) years.
nada
4.3 / 5 (7) Jan 25, 2011
We've already lost the democracy and "We the people". Start turning down the screws of the police-state.

There are certain things that, if on jury duty, I will just hang the damn jury on. This is one of them - and anything else that in my opinion is un-constitutional.
TabulaMentis
3 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2011
(3): Complainants should be allowed to file unrestricted lawsuits for past violations up to a period of ten (10) years. (4): This notice applies to landline and wireless communications, and unauthorized recordings that travel off-premises controlled by the FCC and FTC. (5): Individuals are responsible for detecting eavesdropping devices and spyware on-premises. Federal assistance programs should be available for the poor.
TabulaMentis
1.3 / 5 (4) Jan 25, 2011
We've already lost the democracy and "We the people". Start turning down the screws of the police-state.

There are certain things that, if on jury duty, I will just hang the damn jury on. This is one of them - and anything else that in my opinion is un-constitutional.
You must be a huge fan of the wild wild west mentality.
fixer
3.5 / 5 (6) Jan 25, 2011
Who wrote this article, the KGB?

As if there wasn't enough data mining going on.
Do you really want your phone calls and internet time scrutinised by a self elected moralist?
TabulaMentis
2.2 / 5 (10) Jan 25, 2011
Who wrote this article, the KGB? As if there wasn't enough data mining going on. Do you really want your phone calls and internet time scrutinised by a self elected moralist?
The US Justice Department wants Internet service providers and cell phone companies to be required to hold on to records for longer to help with criminal prosecutions.

What is wrong with that or are you doing something on the Internet that is considered illegal?
nada
3.9 / 5 (12) Jan 25, 2011

What is wrong with that or are you doing something on the Internet that is considered illegal?


So why do you hate the U.S. Constitution? Are you are terrorist?

Two can play at your stupid game.
Terrible_Bohr
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 25, 2011
Ah yes, the infamous "if you're not doing anything wrong" argument! I would like police be able to randomly strip search people -- without warrant -- for I intend on doing nothing wrong.
TabulaMentis
3 / 5 (9) Jan 25, 2011
So why do you hate the U.S. Constitution? Are you are terrorist? Two can play at your stupid game.
All you think about is the 1st Amendment. How about the 4th and 5th Amendments? Read it, learn it, live it, love it!
ekim
5 / 5 (5) Jan 25, 2011
If every phone conversation were being recorded, in the off chance a person were to say something illegal, people wouldn't stand for it. A warrant is needed for a recording to be admissible in court. Why should the internet be any different?
Quantum_Conundrum
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 25, 2011
If every phone conversation were being recorded, in the off chance a person were to say something illegal, people wouldn't stand for it. A warrant is needed for a recording to be admissible in court. Why should the internet be any different?


You miss the point.

A warrant is useless on the internet, because the records have conveniently been deleted by the time the law enforcement could know it has happened.

That was the whole point of the article.

It sickens me that people are more concerned about their own so-called "rights" than they are in stopping the insane amount of murder, rape, human trafficking, theft, and drug use that is going on this this alleged civilization.

I say "alleged" civilization, because if human beings were civilized then the civilized humans would want to put a stop to the lunatics, but instead, people are all about their "right" to privacy and free speech, meanwhile murderers and rapist deny people more important rights, such as life...
fixer
3.6 / 5 (5) Jan 25, 2011
@TabulaMentis
Think again when I said KGB, they were government too!
Is the USA that enlightened that they can tell foreign nationals how to think?
Or do they get their foreign policy from China!
ekim
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 25, 2011
You miss the point.

A warrant is useless on the internet, because the records have conveniently been deleted by the time the law enforcement could know it has happened.

The point I was making was, if a person has a conversation over the phone, and no warrant was issued, that conversation can't legally be recorded and used in a court of law. Why would the same conversation over the internet be recorded, without a warrant, and be able to be used against a person in a court? It is no different than the government opening each piece of mail, that passes through a post office, and photocopying it. If somebody is committing a criminal act then law enforcement should get a warrant, rather than treating innocent people like criminals.
I don't want the government to be able to search my home, my car, my phone conversations, my mail or my e-mail without just cause.
TabulaMentis
2 / 5 (4) Jan 25, 2011
Think again when I said KGB, they were government too! Is the USA that enlightened that they can tell foreign nationals how to think?
Or do they get their foreign policy from China!
The United States of America is a land of laws. However, the age of the Internet in America has strangely been able to avoid laws that have governed telephone, cable and satellite TV communications for many years. The Bill of Rights needs to be updated with new regulations that is suited for the 21st Century, not 1780 something.
TabulaMentis
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 25, 2011
The point I was making was, if a person has a conversation over the phone, and no warrant was issued, that conversation can't legally be recorded and used in a court of law. Why would the same conversation over the internet be recorded, without a warrant, and be able to be used against a person in a court? It is no different than the government opening each piece of mail, that passes through a post office, and photocopying it. If somebody is committing a criminal act then law enforcement should get a warrant, rather than treating innocent people like criminals.
I don't want the government to be able to search my home, my car, my phone conversations, my mail or my e-mail without just cause.
Quantum Conundrum above made it clear what this article is about. You need to read the article again.
fixer
4.7 / 5 (6) Jan 26, 2011
The United States of America is a land of laws.

And there you have it!
Where did all the people go?
What happened to all the normal, sane and reasonable people that the country held, did they stay behind in Vietnam?
Have you so little personal pride that you need to live your life by another persons ideals?

I commit no crime, but my life isn't an open book for other people to profit from.
Sorry, but my upbringing did not include treating everyone as a criminal unless proven otherwise.

Freedom of thought isn't a right, no one gives it to you.
You have it from birth, whether you use it is up to you.
ekim
5 / 5 (3) Jan 26, 2011
Quantum Conundrum above made it clear what this article is about. You need to read the article again.

A warrant is useless on the internet, because the records have conveniently been deleted by the time the law enforcement could know it has happened.

A wiretap warrant could also be declared useless for phone conversations which have already taken place before the warrant was issued. How much unwarranted information is law enforcement allowed to collect about an innocent person? Does the fact they are using a third party to obtain this information change the law somehow?
poof
1 / 5 (5) Jan 26, 2011
9/11
Pkunk_
1 / 5 (1) Jan 26, 2011

I don't want the government to be able to search my home, my car, my phone conversations, my mail or my e-mail without just cause.


While you are raising very valid points about recording conversations , I think the article is about phone records . i.e who called who at what time. There is NO privacy being lost if the police have access to a list of numbers you have called/recieved calls from.
In fact with cell phones records it becomes very easy to catch rapists , murderers who steal people's phones and use them after commiting their act .

Circumstantial evidence is often much more powerful than recorded tapes etc.
Quantum_Conundrum
1 / 5 (1) Jan 26, 2011
If somebody is committing a criminal act then law enforcement should get a warrant, rather than treating innocent people like criminals.


Are you this dense?

The whole point of this article is that in the case of the internet it is TOO LATE because the information is already deleted.
T3chWarrior
1 / 5 (1) Jan 26, 2011
If every phone conversation were being recorded, in the off chance a person were to say something illegal, people wouldn't stand for it. A warrant is needed for a recording to be admissible in court. Why should the internet be any different?


EVERY phone call is already recorded, where have you been? yes a warrant is needed to be admissible in court, doesnt mean it wasnt recorded in the first place.
Javinator
1 / 5 (1) Jan 26, 2011
EVERY phone call is already recorded, where have you been? yes a warrant is needed to be admissible in court, doesnt mean it wasnt recorded in the first place.


Are you being facetious? Do you know the data storage that would be required to keep records of EVERY phone call?
knikiy
1 / 5 (1) Jan 26, 2011
9/11


10-4
Arkaleus
5 / 5 (2) Jan 26, 2011
Private companies and individuals can't be forced to act as agents of the state. Our government does not have the authority to mandate this. It may demonstrate the will to do so, but it has confused itself with differences between a government of WILL, and a government of LAW. Private transactions are protected by the 4th amendment. The government does not have jurisdiction over transactions and information, and it must request access to it by the due process of the warrant. To abandon this is to desire a new social order, and is a foolish destruction of hard-won liberty and rational law.

It is not the task of our government to provide a perfect society, guarantee any pleasure of the people, or give us anything we should desire. Its role is already defined, and should not be tempting itself with authoritarianism. It is beneath our people.
Paljor
1 / 5 (1) Jan 26, 2011
you know quantum i am agreeing with you more and more. If you have a problem with the proposed new law then i am guessing that you are doing something illegal. If you aren't than why would you want to take it down and give all the law breakers more power?
ekim
3 / 5 (1) Jan 26, 2011
Are you this dense?

Of course not. But I am surprised you of all people would be for this. Given your numerous posts on this site where you actually run the numbers.
How many people would have their activities recorded?
How many would have actually broken a law in which their records could be used as evidence?
How much would keeping this data cost privately owned companies?
How much of this cost would be passed on to the consumer?
I'm all for preventing crime, but at what cost?
TabulaMentis
3 / 5 (1) Jan 27, 2011
Are you being facetious? Do you know the data storage that would be required to keep records of EVERY phone call?
Yeah; a petabyte harddrive or reel to reel mainframe.

Modernmystic
5 / 5 (2) Jan 27, 2011
you know quantum i am agreeing with you more and more. If you have a problem with the proposed new law then i am guessing that you are doing something illegal. If you aren't than why would you want to take it down and give all the law breakers more power?


You are an idiot.

Are you currently breaking any laws? No? How about we send a guy dressed in black with jackboots to follow you around 24/7 JUST to make sure.

Don't bitch about "your rights" being violated, what the hell does it matter? You're not doing anything WRONG are you....
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (1) Jan 27, 2011
Are you being facetious? Do you know the data storage that would be required to keep records of EVERY phone call?


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echelon_(signals_intelligence)#Capabilities

I'm not convinced anyone is exactly sure of the extent or true capabilities of the program...but it's a little scary.
TabulaMentis
3 / 5 (1) Jan 27, 2011
The government can record your phone calls and open your mail if they want to and it is legal. It is called the Patriot Act.

What they are talking about in this article is being able to track people by using their MAC addresses, computer ID numbers, ISP transactions, etc. that are being prematurely deleted.
TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Jan 27, 2011
I'm not convinced anyone is exactly sure of the extent or true capabilities of the program...but it's a little scary.
Define what is scary.
stealthc
not rated yet Jan 31, 2011
If you don't like it, then the answer is clear, time for you all to become freemen of the land. It has been long enough that we sit down and take what these fraudsters have to dish out, "for your own protection".
Time to take a stand for you, for your nation, and for humanity. We can do much better than this wasteful, anti-economy. Stop feeding these parasites, they have absolutely no right and are manipulating you with their "maritime law" courts, fooling you into thinking that you are under "common law" jurisdiction when in fact you are not.

Look it up if you don't know what it is, and, if you feel like actually owning your property rather than lease it, then you should offer 6 free burial plots so as to have your land defined as a cemetary, then you are free to own it, not pay taxes, and do as you will under their own stupid laws. They have you fooled by messing around with the english language.
Royale
not rated yet Feb 03, 2011
YAY! I agree with Q_C!!!

Q_C I think it's hilarious that you've had to explain THE ARTICLE ABOVE to people that many times. They literally just need to re-read it and shoot for comprehension. Not get defensive over their "rights".
And for everyone who disagrees, you think I don't like the constitution? Seriously?