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Gonzales: ISPs Must Keep Records On Users

     

engine

3:42 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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WASHINGTON--Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday stepped up his efforts to lobby for federal laws requiring Internet providers to keep track of what their customers do online.

Gonzales asked senators to adopt "data retention" legislation that would likely force Internet providers to keep customer logs for at least a year or two. Those logs, often routinely discarded after a few months, are intended to be used by police investigating crimes.

Gonzales: ISPs Must Keep Records On Users [news.com.com]

WiseWebDude

3:48 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't like that idea at all. We are in a critical growth stage for the net and that certainly wouldn't help! Are we becoming more Communist everyday or what? Sigh. Oh, and guess who is going to have to pay for our records to be stored?...that's right US. That really burns me up to think about.

Tapolyai

4:36 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have periodic system failures. About once a month my log server irrecoverably crashes...

kamran mohammed

4:51 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This idea is crazy. who would want to share their privacy with others.

what say?

superpower

4:54 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Does it say anywhere what information is being kept in the logs? ie how verbose these records are supposed to be.

Eric_Lander

4:57 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It may burn you up now, but who's to say that it would not benefit you when it matters most to you? What if your family was in jeopardy, your children were being stalked or your security was threatened?

Would you argue that there was data available to protect you in these instances?

While I would love to have lower tax rates, it is unlikely to happen. Sadly, there will be a day where we wish that this information were available -- and if it is used effectively in one instance, perhaps it will also serve as a deterrent for others.

vincevincevince

5:18 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The reason these log files are discarded is normally the size of them. A popular site with a dozen pages takes typically less than 10kb disk space but can generate 100Mb+ in log files monthly.

A larger popular site can have much larger log files.

trinorthlighting

5:30 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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ISPs keep records, wow that is a lot of data that will need to be stored. Most already do keep records though.

It still will not help one bit overseas though.

incrediBILL

5:49 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's not like the phone company hasn't been keeping call records for years and the police use those too, but the sheer volume of data for this could completely overwhelm smaller operations.

However, not sure Gonzales realizes what he's asking as some small dial-up service providers are bare bones operations with a radius server and a few boxes for email and websites, and that's it.

mrjohncory

5:57 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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@Eric_Lander

I couldn't disagree more. I think trying to scare people into forfeiting their privacy with images of stalkers and kidnappings is very weak rhetoric, especially considering that this is a Bush Administration initiative . . . if you remember the Nigerian uranium forgeries or you've been following along with the illegal detention of incorrectly suspected "terrorists."

At this stage in the development of the legislation you basically have a program that raises more questions and problems than it answers and solves:

Problems
* Costly for tax payers
* Probably 'spensive and legally harrowing for smaller ISP's
* Potentially puts us all under big, scary scrutiny

Solutions
* Might catch a "stalker" or "kidnapper" or "terrorist" IF there is some intelligent way to analyze the guhzillobytes of logs

Really, I see ISP logs as a better way to present (or invent) prosecutable evidence than "find" or "track" a dangerous individual.

bcolflesh

5:58 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What if your family was in jeopardy, your children were being stalked or your security was threatened?

What if a magical ghost appeared in the sky and demanded Earth's ISP records... won't somebody please think of the children?

Moosetick

6:05 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What if a magical ghost appeared in the sky and demanded Earth's ISP records

That doesn't make sense. Everyone knows magical ghosts can travel in time and can retroactively get all of our records whenever they want.

RonPK

6:15 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This year in the EU a directive came into force obliging ISPs and telecom providers to store traffic records for a period of at least six months. Funny to see that the US actually lags behind the EU in 'fighting crime' ;)

Drew

6:40 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think it is a good idea. Too many pedophiles out there and these records can help prosecute.

bedlam

7:51 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think it is a good idea. Too many pedophiles out there and these records can help prosecute.

Yes. And to the same end, the FBI requests daily reports from all citizens containing the following information:

  • the contents of your phone and address books (it could be that someone you're talking to is in some yet-to-be-determined way evil. We need to know...),
  • your current whereabouts (are you somewhere subversive?),
  • your travel plans (are you going somewhere subversive? Canada maybe?),
  • your recent purchases (with receipts!),
  • copies/photos of recent ballots cast,
  • an itinerary of your toilet visits (there's no telling what you might be up to in there...),
  • your medical problems,
  • your height,
  • your weight,
  • your clothing and shoe sizes (gained a few pounds, haven't you?),
  • your identifying marks, tattoos and piercings,
  • your political and religious affiliations,
  • your favourite colour (it's not red is it? Or is blue the new colour of evil? It doesn't really matter; we'll figure it out once we know which yours is...),
  • an unadulterated list of all the files on your personal hard drive(s) arranged according to the categories 'Porn', 'Illegal mp3s', 'Subversive Literature', 'Suspicious Correspondence', 'Embarrassing Personal Materials' and 'Terrorism'. Note that categories containing zero items are very suspicious...

Thanks,

A.G. the A.G.

Eric_Lander

8:37 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Great post mrjohncory, and good to know that we can agree to disagree.

I see the response to this matter coming in the form of answers to two separate questions:

How will this affect your wallet?
How will this affect your net usage?

I don't see hosting bills increasing since this is targeted at ISPs, so I'm okay with that. If my cable modem fees go higher, it wouldn't be the first time -- but I accept that I need broadband at home, so I would understand reasonable rate increases.

Now unless you're into things that people are likely to track or keep a watchful eye on, what difference does it make if someone's holding onto logs of what you did? If my local ISP wants to track how many times I check my Fantasy Football team on any given Sunday -- be my guest.

I was not trying to paint a picture of imposing fear as a good thing. All I'm saying is that if archiving data can be accomplished in a manner that assists the country in protecting us to one degree or another -- it's better to see our tax dollars go there than to some otherwise unaccountable expense.

It's not uncommon these days to hear about some creepy middle aged man stalking local kids off of MySpace and snatching them up off the streets -- is it?

And finally... bcolflesh and Moosetick... what's the difference between a magical ghost and the run of the mill, everyday ghost?

lexipixel

8:37 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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ok.. so the gov gets isps to save logs... now, since website content can change daily, hourly, or every few minutes, I suppose saving a "snapshot" of every site should be mandated too.

An archive of the complete contents of every site every 5 minutes should be sufficent.

Oh, yeah, then you need an archive-restore system that will let them match up the site to the exact content that was in-place at the time the illegal activity occured.

It all needs to be further sync'ed to a single clock -- can't have any questions about "give or take 5 minutes", that raises reasonable doubt, so a law needs to be passed that all ISPs use the same clock.

Now all they need to do is figure out how to track "evil doers" who log into with Wifi at the local coffe shop... pass a law...

Never mind, scrap the logs, and laws mean nothing (when security issues are raised, just throw law out the window --- constitution and all)... and send the "suspected" internet evil doer to Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or some other "right thinking country" and beat and torture the information out of them.

"Argghhhh --- please stop, I did look at pictures of farm animals mating.... I'll vote Republican and promise to hate immigrants, poor people and anyone who dresses funny... I promise".

mrjohncory

9:30 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I see the response to this matter coming in the form of answers to two separate questions:
How will this affect your wallet?
How will this affect your net usage?

You forgot:

How will this affect your personal privacy, especially if you're Middle Eastern, conducting research on politically sensitive issues or politically active against the administration?

Now unless you're into things that people are likely to track or keep a watchful eye on, what difference does it make if someone's holding onto logs of what you did?

Whether or not your activity is questionable is relative to the politics of the party in power.

Iguana

10:59 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Since this board will be monitored by various Law Enforcement forces from around the world - let alone by my ISP, I cannot comment on any of the issues raised here.

fischermx

12:12 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Some stupid questions:

Are you guys ALL Internet Services Providers?
Why are you talking about web server logs?
Since when is a website an "Internet Service Provider"?

They made a separation of both ISP and websites:


One form could require Internet providers and perhaps social-networking sites and search engines to record for a year or two which IP address is used by which user.

Lex_Luther

12:36 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think we'd all be better off if Ron Pual became presiden.

incrediBILL

1:17 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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record for a year or two which IP address is used by which user

Does this mean they're going to outlaw anonymous proxy servers and install blocks to those outside the US?

If not, this whole excercise is completely meaningless.

jessejump

1:25 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Let's outlaw curtains in all living rooms also. If you're not doing anything in your house suspicous or illegal, what do you need curtains for?

vincevincevince

1:34 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



fischermx:

Are you guys ALL Internet Services Providers?

I doubt that is true.

Why are you talking about web server logs?

Two reasons, first because one entry in a server log means one entry in the ISP's log which connects to that server. It's the same problem but two sides of the coin. For the second reason, see below.

Since when is a website an "Internet Service Provider"?

Most websites are probably not internet service providers, but I have never heard anyone suggest that server and hosting companies aren't internet service providers.

jay5r

1:46 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



As long as it takes a court order to get the records, what's the big deal?

Those of us who care about personal liberties are most offended by the notion that the present government thinks their above the law when it comes to privacy (and a number of other things). That's the real issue - isn't it?

fischermx

2:19 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How could a hosting company be called "Internet Service Provider"?
Read it aloud : "Internet Service Provider".
The one that "Provides" you with "Internet Service".

I know, I know, I know, many people do call ISP to hosting companies, but as far as I understand they don't provide you internet. You actually need an internet provider prior to contact/hire/use a hosting company.

Maybe I'm too old, but 10 years ago the ISP term was clear and unequivocally to refer to those that provides you the access to the internet, not to people offering services once you're on internet.

And I think this article talk about ISP, those like your cable or DSL company AND some special websites like social networking or search engines.

fischermx

2:21 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Most websites are probably not internet service providers

Actually, no single website is an Internet Service Provider. Even the website of your cable or dsl company is not an Internet Service Provider, it's just the website of the ISP.
You need an Internet Service Provider to reach the website.

oneguy

3:02 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We only need a 3% income tax to finance the war, and we'll only tax rich people.

Everyone cool with that?

incrediBILL

7:35 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We only need a 3% income tax to finance the war, and we'll only tax rich people.

Everyone cool with that?

What in the heck does that have to do with the topics?

As it gets closer to election year they'll just get worse...

incrediBILL

7:38 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Let's outlaw curtains in all living rooms also. If you're not doing anything in your house suspicous or illegal, what do you need curtains for?

See, the problem with that is us semi-nudists that aren't in shape run around the house mostly naked all day and it's just not pretty.

The girl scouts still have me on their "DO-NOT-KNOCK" list, sigh, one little mishap and no Girl Scout Cookies for me...

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