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Justice Dept. Wants Providers to Retain Internet Data

Posted on Jan 25, 2011
Flickr / Ed Yourdon (CC-BY-SA)

The Justice Department will ask Congress to make it mandatory for Internet service providers to retain data on their users’ activity. Law enforcement officials already can ask for data to be preserved, but Justice would like to have more robust snooping capabilities in order to investigate and prosecute “almost every type of crime.”

ISPs are required to make the records they do have available to law enforcement upon request, and many Internet providers, including cellular networks, telcos and cable companies, already retain data for government access.

According to this CNET report, the Justice Department would like to force providers large and small to retain information.

Not surprisingly, the push for mandatory data retention originated in the Bush administration.  —PZS

CNET:

Criminal investigations “are being frustrated” because no law currently exists to force Internet providers to keep track of what their customers are doing, the U.S. Department of Justice will announce tomorrow.
CNET obtained a copy of the department’s position on mandatory data retention—saying Congress should strike a “more appropriate balance” between privacy and police concerns—that will be announced at a House of Representatives hearing tomorrow.

“Data retention is fundamental to the department’s work in investigating and prosecuting almost every type of crime,” Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division, will say, according to his written testimony. “The problem of investigations being stymied by a lack of data retention is growing worse.”

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, January 27, 2011 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

gerard,

I see your peddling the same theories but have dropped all talk of the evil, phantom, Neo-Cons taking over Washington and the world. - Refreshing.

I also see you’ve not commented on any foreign-born news on TruthDig for months.  You seem not to recognize that the globe is a great deal larger than North America. 

The United States.  It’s the only world you see.

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By berniem, January 26, 2011 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

It seems more and more that Kumbaya moments are being replaced by Sieg Heil intrusions. FREE BRADLEY MANNING!!!!

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, January 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

““Data retention is fundamental to the department’s work in investigating and prosecuting almost every type of crime, Jason Weinstein,...The problem of investigations being stymied by a lack of data retention is growing worse.”

And freedom FROM data retention is fundamental to FREEDOM OF PRIVACY not only in the USA, but Canada and many other “western” countries as well.

I don’t know what the answer is to the Justice Department’s problem but it simply cannot be to allow them to invade our privacy like this. Soon as this law passes I’ll be logging off for good. No TV. No internet. Gee… whatever will I do with myself? Oh, I know… perhaps read some good books!

Too damn bad Congress is so loaded with ineffective members since that body is about the only one with the clout to rein in the DOJ’s ambitions. But from what I’ve read, “authorities” don’t really put too much stock in laws anyway. They do what they want to do and have access to bottomless pits of OUR money to hire an avalanche of lawyers to stick handle (read “buy off”) in the courts on their behalf.

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By decency begins at home, Mr. Scheer, January 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From Truthdig’s own privacy policy page: “This Privacy Policy does not protect information you post to any online bulletin board or other public forum within the Web Site.”

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By finally Truthdig gets it, January 25, 2011 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THANK YOU Truthdig for finally paying attention to this destructive trend. President Obama, along with sympathetic legislators, is well into the process of destroying the little which remains of privacy and a Constitutional republic. The President’s warrantless wiretaps and home entries, begun under Clinton’s Janet Reno, are a red-flag (emphasize Red) that his knowledge of historical incidences of fascism and other oppressive regimes is either lacking or intentionally being implemented. This man needs to be ejected from office once his first term expires.

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By gerard, January 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

Latest news is that the military has not been able to find any link between Assange and Manning, (which means that Assange cannot be extradited) and further, that the recent return to more stringent isolation of Manning has been declared too severe and he is no longer subjected to the torture of “suicide watch.” due to physicians’ recommendations.

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By gerard, January 25, 2011 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

PPS:  Looking back, my main message, previous to the first PS below, got lost somewhere, so things don’t make much sense.  Too bad, but accidents happen. The original message was some advice about reminding you all to be sure to understand the significance of the Wikileaks and how they will probably be used to try to limit the freedom of the net,increase
“surveillance,” etc. It’s all part of the battle to keep the gov/corp combination from passing laws to limit freedom of speech and of the press.

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By racp, January 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Don’t think I’m crazy if you see me walking with an aluminum foil helmet. BTW, does anybody know the date they start implanting microchips in your body? It can’t be far away…

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By gerard, January 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

P.S.  Just in case there’s even one person who might misunderstand my meaning:
  The “their” referring to “domination and control” in that sentence refers to government and corporations controlling us.  And one more point, whether we want them or not, they both belong to us in the final analysis, and they do what they do with our advice and consent, active or passive. 
  They like to play like they own us, and we let them do it because it’s the easiest way.  But it’s a dangerous game.  They know it.  And we know it. Work for peace and justice!

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By gerard, January 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Gotta be some way to get Manning and Assange for showing us how to open up government and corporate secrets and reveal what we, the people, need to know in order to prevent their domination and control.

Pay attention, kiddies.  This is the real battle for freedom of speech and press—the “information wars” which you can’t fight without information.

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By mikesoul, January 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

I’m amused by the statement, “Not surprisingly, the push for mandatory data retention originated in the Bush administration.”

Is is also not surprising that the push for mandatory data retention is continuing under the Obama administration.  Obama’s track record on civil liberties is as reprehensible, if not worse, than Bush’s.  Let us not forget that it is under Obama that the offices of antiwar and solidarity offices have been raided.  This internet initiative is just par for the course for the Obama administration.

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By L2k4FC, January 25, 2011 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“I just don’t understand why the J.Dept. thinks that by we the little spied upon peons looking up for example,recipes for pickled beets,the latest Palin scandal,or the latest temperatures for overnight on the Internet, is somehow valuable information that needs retaining…”  Well just imagine what they could do with people who aren’t looking up pickled beet recipes.  What if you are spending too much time looking at the swimsuit edition of SI? What if you are playing too much poker online?  If you are a nobody today but a somebody 20 years from now will they be able to just dig this information up and use it against you?  Well, apparently they will.  What we need is a good old fashioned revolt in this country, non violent of course.  Perhaps a national movement to stop paying taxes until the REAL will of the people is enacted by the “representatives” of the people.  Sure it isn’t as glamorous as getting thrown in jail overnight for chaining yourself to a fence at the White House but I can guarantee that if we had 1 Million folks decide that they weren’t going to pay any more income tax in protest of their Government Gone Wild then some things would change.

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Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, January 25, 2011 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

This is akin to wire-tapping and would come under either unlawful search and seizure or second amendment rights.  This appears headed to SCOTUS.

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By surfnow, January 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

The 3 things I’ll still hear from the moronic conservatives I know:
1.” But don’t you feel much safer now?”
2.” It’s all for our own protection.”  and my favorite:
3. ” I don’t care. They can tap my phone and read my e-mails. I have nothing to hide.”

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By felicity, January 25, 2011 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

samosamo - can’t wait for the next shoe to drop, like,
anyone passing on ‘internet’ info will receive a
monetary reward.  Sound ridiculous?  We pulled that
ridiculousness (shit) in Afghanistan and Gitmo was
filled with perfectly innocent Afghanis who’d been
turned in not because they were guilty of anything but
because some other Afghani had found a quick way to
make an American buck.

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By samosamo, January 25, 2011 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

****************

 

““Law enforcement officials already can ask for data to be
preserved, but Justice would like to have more robust snooping
capabilities in order to investigate and prosecute “almost every
type of crime.””
****************
Now the internet will be used to ‘mete’ out justice. It will fast
become a source of revenue for government and will enhance
those private prisons. It also appears to be a ‘preventative’
measure where any 2 or 3 words not found to the liking of some
dumb shit viewing all this data will determine the criminality of
someone even if ithat person just said ‘I tried to beat a better
player but bombed in my attempt.

This is goddamn NOT what this country is about.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 25, 2011 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Amazing.
The only ones getting their freedoms expanded are the “virtual persons” of corporations.
Everyone else is getting theirs restricted.

Thanks, GOP and Blue Dogs.

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By AT, January 25, 2011 at 11:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THEGOVERNMENT is your friend or foes,you decided.In its
activities using tax payers money, it shows flaws in it
selection and supervision process.
to be continued

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By AnnaCatherine, January 25, 2011 at 11:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They already have mountains of data stored. No one knows where it all is or what it’s about. It accumulates by the day. Worth mentioning is that we have no way of knowing how accutate it is. Richard Clarke’s book, “Cyber War” is a real eye opener. The need to collect and store information has become a neurosis. It’s a hi-tech way of being a pack rat. When we consider the error ratio I’m not sure it would be admissible in the courts. What would it prove ? There’s a line from an old song: “You can’t go to jail for what you’re thinking”. I guress that’s about to change.

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Peter Knopfler's avatar

By Peter Knopfler, January 25, 2011 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

Big Brother is watching you in the USA and thought
police are all over COMMUNIST CHINA, communist CUBA,
there is someone watching always. one out of three
Cubans are spies for Castro country.All Communist
Countries tons of secrets, manipulate the pubic to
think that this is best. Dumbing down of America far
less IQ every year, and no education 50% drop out
rate, Hey IS EVERYONE READY FOR CORPORATE SLAVERY,
well get ready cause it is here now. Corporate
control of the government is COMMUNISM. New OBAMA
executive is from GENERAL ELECTRIC in Communist China
almost 0ne hundred years, helped Mao with
surveillance spy on their own public all this
tech.Communist China got from GE, and Mao killed
60,000,000 million people with the Technical
assistance from yours truly GE, now General Electric
is in the WHITE HOUSE: Is it time to kill again?

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By felicity, January 25, 2011 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

Are you serious? was the reaction to a proposal by
someone in the Bush Administration that repair men,
meter readers, house painters - anyone that had
access to private homes - be commissioned to do
clandestine searches of the homes on the look-out for
‘suspicious’ stuff and then report back to Security.

Are you serious? should be the reaction to this
internet data caper, but I have a feeling it won’t
be. 
We’ve come a long way, baby.

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By purplewolf, January 25, 2011 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

I just don’t understand why the J.Dept. thinks that by we the little spied upon peons looking up for example,recipes for pickled beets,the latest Palin scandal,or the latest temperatures for overnight on the Internet, is somehow valuable information that needs retaining for indefinite lengths of time for future law enforcement or other B.S. reasons they give.

Who is going to pay for all of this? Why we are,the little people, if the PTB ever had to foot the cost of all of their lunacy, we would see an immediate drop in this type of wasted money and time.

Besides, they already know who the real bad guys are and they are they fellow partners in crime.Can’t touch them. Guess it is time for the thought police to come take away anyone left who still shows any ability to still think for themselves and not to follow the orders given to the rest of the sheeple.

As my mother said. This sure isn’t the America she remembers or grew up in.

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By surfnow, January 25, 2011 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

Just keep repeating the mantra:  ” They hate us because of our freedomstheyhateusbecauseofourfreedomsthey hateusbecauseofourfreedomsthey….....”

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By JJW, January 25, 2011 at 8:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sure sounds like illegal wiretapping.  So why would this be less harmful than what the Stasi did?

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By Emojad Dajome, January 25, 2011 at 8:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Other than further enhancing law enforcement agencies’ powers to gather evidence, who else would benefit from such a requirement? Answer, large internet service providers. How? Storage costs money. Imagine the cost of storing every web user’s search history.  Or imagine the income potential from maintaining all that information. Remember the Americans With Disabilities Act? It put numerous small motel operators out of business due to the costs of reconstructing their facilities.  Conversely thus, the loss of competitors allowed large hotel franchises to capture larger shares of their markets. Point being, large internet service providers can afford the costs for storage where as smaller operators will surrender their market share allowing the big guys to capture it. Qui bono? Never forget the first consideration of business through the manipulation of law.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, January 25, 2011 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

CNET reports- “As a Justice Department official in the 1990s, Attorney General Eric Holder touted the idea of mandatory data retention. In 1999 Holder said “certain data must be retained by ISPs for reasonable periods of time so that it can be accessible to law enforcement.”

TruthDig reports- “Not surprisingly, the push for mandatory data retention originated in the Bush administration.”

-

Fascinating.

Eric Holder touted the idea of mandatory data retention in 1999, however, the idea originated in the Bush administration?

I don’t care for the idea of ISP’s retaining user data for law enforcement uses.  It’s no less fascinating that TruthDig editors willingly choose to retain the narrative that it was the evil Bush administration behind the idea.

Bush did it!  Bush did it!  Bush did it!

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By ardee, January 25, 2011 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

I wonder at the contrast this article notes without words. The “Justice” Dept. seeks ever more information on private citizens yet shirks its duty to investigate the blatantly illegal activities found in our financial community.

Get a clue,Holder.

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fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, January 25, 2011 at 4:13 am Link to this comment

RE: ...Criminal investigations “are being frustrated” because no law currently
exists to force Internet providers to keep track of what their customers are
doing,...

begs the question: what can one actually do in virtual space that is genuinely
criminal… what of one’s dreams… is this the realization at hand of Philip K. Dick’s
‘Minority Report’?

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