Category

Data retention

Can NSA Force Telecom Companies To Collect More Data?

Recent reports highlight that the telephone meta-data collection efforts of the National Security Agency are being undermined by the proliferation of flat-rate, unlimited voice calling plans. The agency is collecting data for less than a third of domestic voice traffic, according to one estimate. It’s been clear for the past couple months that officials want to fix this, and President Obama’s plan for leaving meta-data in the hands of telecom companies–for NSA to access with a court order–might provide a back door opportunity to expand collection to include all calling data. There was a potential new twist last week, when Reuters seemed to imply that carriers could be forced to collect data for all voice traffic pursuant to a reinterpretation Read More ›


Behavioral advertising: Poor excuse for regulation

With U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and now the Federal Trade Commission holding hearings on privacy and online advertising, it seemed like a good time to visit the Google Privacy Center to see what categories Google believes I fall into based on my online behavior. My interests were:News & Current EventsThat was it. I could opt out of interest-based advertising or manage my ad preferences at the Google site, but, I figured, what’s the point? A Google representative told the New York Times that the Privacy Center pulls in tens of thousands of visitors each week. For every one person who opts out, four people change the categories they have fallen into, and 10 people do nothing, just look over Read More ›


Will data retention make our communities safe?

Legislation in the House of Representatives would require Internet service providers to store subscriber data specified by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. The Attorney General would also get to decide how long the data would be stored. The bill, H.R. 837, provides: SEC. 6. RECORD RETENTION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS. (a) Regulations- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Attorney General shall issue regulations governing the retention of records by Internet Service Providers. Such regulations shall, at a minimum, require retention of records, such as the name and address of the subscriber or registered user to whom an Internet Protocol address, user identification or telephone number was assigned, in order to Read More ›


Data retention bill reintroduced

A proposal to require Internet service providers to preserve a complete record of customer online activities has been re-introduced in the House of Representatives. Although a Justice Department spokesman recently said that certain safeguards would apply to protect the innocent (“The actual content that customers looked at on the Web will not be stored; all data will be stored by the companies, not the government; and the government will have access to the data only by current means, such as warrants and subpoenas”), the legislation says nothing about it. SEC. 6. RECORD RETENTION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS. (a) Regulations- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Attorney General shall issue regulations Read More ›