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FBI Head Wants Strong Data Retention Rules

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the we-know-everything dept.

256

KevHead writes "Speaking at a conference of international police chiefs, FBI Director Robert Mueller called for strict data retention guidelines for US ISPs. Echoing DHS head Michael Cherthoff's assertion that the Internet was enabling terrorists to telecommute to work, Mueller went further and said that the US needs stricter data retention guidelines. '"All too often, we find that before we can catch these offenders, Internet service providers have unwittingly deleted the very records that would help us identify these offenders and protect future victims," Mueller said. The solution? Forcing ISPs to retain data for set periods of time.' If that happens, how long before the MPAA and RIAA start asking to take a peek at the data too, as they have in Europe?"

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256 comments

ugh.... (5, Funny)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16497933)

I know of people who recieve cardboard boxes from FEDEX filled with 20 lbs of weed... I think the internet is the least of our problems.

Re:ugh.... (4, Insightful)

cloricus (691063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16497973)

Agreed. I also have a few troubles with the arguement here... "We are going to retain data in America to catch terrorists in other countries like Iran and Iraq!" ...Does any one else smell 'omg teh terrorists r coming lol all j00r privacy r belong to us?'

Yeah, ObL *is* laughing is ass off... (3, Insightful)

hummassa (157160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499205)

His plan goes like:
1. make some attacks to high-profile targets in US and its allies
2. see how those people will (slowly but surely) erode their civil liberties and transform _their_ countries in the same kind of totalitarian theocracies as Taliban-Afghanistan
3. ???
4. Profit!!!
PS. too bad those intelligent, enlightened, Spanish people saw right thru our plan and threw Aznar off.

Re:ugh.... (1)

oedneil (871555) | more than 7 years ago | (#16497983)

Exactly why we need to have the various mail systems and courier companies keep strict records and analyze all packages, as well. Anything for the sake of "security."

Re:ugh.... (4, Insightful)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498367)

my point is that we can't even do the simple stuff - mail... how do we expect to beat encryption over myspace, proxied through an FTP server in thailand? i'm sure we could go on and on, but lets face it... these terrorists are not idiots... they can carry out what they plan... The leaders probably got their educations at the same places we did!

Re:ugh.... (4, Insightful)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498549)

But there are plenty of idiot would-be terrorists who have no hope of carrying out what they are planning, but who are more than willing to martyr themselves by pleading guilty when they are caught (here [telegraph.co.uk] is an example).

If the police can keep up a steady trickle of arrests of people like this, the "war on terror" can be kept going indefinitely.

Re:ugh.... (1, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499231)

But there are plenty of idiot would-be terrorists who have no hope of carrying out what they are planning, but who are more than willing to martyr themselves by pleading guilty when they are caught (here is an example).

Hmmm... lets see....

"The principal planned attack involved packing three limousines with gas cylinders, explosives and the like and detonating them in underground car parks," Mr Lawson said.

Barot was said to have three other projects, including one that he called the "Radiation (Dirty Bomb) Project".


Wow! No chance at all of carrying out that principal attack, eh?

If the police can keep up a steady trickle of arrests of people like this, the "war on terror" can be kept going indefinitely.

Don't you mean, "As long as the Islamist extremists can keep finding volunteers, they can continue to threaten us"?

Well, don't worry.... there is a way out. All a country has to do, according to Bin Laden, is to convert to Islam, implement Sharia, cut off the Jews, ...

Re:ugh.... (5, Insightful)

gkhan1 (886823) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498639)

Exactly! If the terrorists use encryption and anonymizers (like TOR) it's going to be impossible to track them. They don't even have to go that far, I'd like to see the FBI track a terrorist planning session going on in a lvl 60 raid in World of Warcraft (Al-Qaida, the guild!). You can always hide online, and the damn feds are too stupid to realise it.

Re:ugh.... (4, Insightful)

Instine (963303) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499247)

Not trying to start a flame war here, but maybe its not them that are so stupid. They keep getting these grants, for these ludicrous ideas... They (FBI et al) have good health care and wages... Maybe its the general public who allow this crap to be paid for through their taxes that are the 'less well informed'. Time to stop griping and start telling the zombie nation, that they're bein taken for, well, zombies.

Re:ugh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498077)

Does anyone know what the current standards are for different ISP's?

Re:ugh.... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498083)

dude..why you postin that shiznat... at least hook a nigga up..

Re:ugh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498617)

I didn't know urban squirrels could use computers.

Re:ugh.... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498459)

I'll humor all the good intentioned idiots and give a brief overview of the real problems facing national security.

The only thing the government seems remotely capable of securing is specific locations with limited interaction with the public. Everything else is vaporware and an excuse to award fat contracts for feel good theatre props. If half the money pissed away on that inane "war on drugs" was spent on securing utilities and vital public services, and this money was properly managed,(Proper managment of these resources would be localised with rigorous pen testing. It's vague. blow me. pay me as a consultant and I'll put some effort in to the sollution) it might be possible to put something real in place of all the expensive theatrics. This would have twice the impact because 90% of all financial incentive to rape our nation's security originates from drug prohibition. (if you want a real number compare human traffiking profit estimates to drug traffiking profit estimates)

Illegal immigration is a headache in itself that needs to be delt with. That's one of the most difficult problems because it originates from overpopulation which is deliberately encouraged by those with financial sway to drive down cost of labor. Good luck getting control of those strings let alone solving the problem in the near future short of mass murder. As far as long term solutions go, you could try encouraging responsible population managment but good luck distracting the religious wack jobs long enough to pull that one off. I'll throw you a bone and suggest liberal use of shiny homosexuals.

The failures at life who find that offensive, but are evenly remotely educated enough to appreciate the rest of this post win the prize for managing to get that far in life and still believe in fairy tales. In short: Blow me. Go ahead. I drew first blood. Start a flamewar you useless pieces of shit. Use your hard earned debate skills to discredit me and my ideas. After all, I started it. Contribute to the problem. I am because I don't give a shit. I dream for an oppurtunity to bend every last one of you meddling fucks over a table and financially ass/skull fuck you till you're bleeding money all the way to the retirement home to die. I couldn't give two shits if you never get your security pony. I watch my own ass. I expect nothing. Wannabe comedians can crack some lame ass joke to dance around the issue John Stewart style(I have nothing but respect for John Stewart) about me taking myself too seriously. Watch. These jerkoffs will post "You take yourself too seriously." 10 times in a row just because I said that. Predictable fucking clown shoes.

Reasons why none of this will ever happen: Why the fuck would anyone waste time and energy actually protecting all of your useless asses? All the people making decisions have the best security for themselves money can buy. Nobody is going to give you anything in life. Beggars can't be choosers and your beggar filth asses will take what is given to you and you will like it. You are a dime a dozen and if you don't like it tough shit.

Security? You think the cop uniform makes the guy with a gun any less of a threat to your unarmed ass? That's prison bitch mentality. Suck off the man, pay your taxes, the legbreakers won't throw you in prison with the lions. We have 6.5 billion people on this planet thanks to cunts like the pope. 1 in 6.5 billion is cut throat odds. If you don't like that, please off yourself so I can get my piece that much more easily. What the fuck am I talking about, if you ever pulled your head out your ass in the first place, you put it back in to the sand before you got this far. In conclusion: fuck off, blow me, and die you useless cunts.

Re:ugh.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498733)

I've heard of people blowing themselves and others up in the name of religion and your worried about weed?

Data Retention... (5, Insightful)

TheGreatHegemon (956058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16497971)

A broken solution for a non-existent problem.

Re:Data Retention... (1)

hdparm (575302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498389)

Well put. BTW, is this your normal nick or purposefuly created just for this story?

Re:Data Retention... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498705)

It is not a non-existing problem. Did you forget that aside from 9/11, there's also been Madrid and London x2, and a couple of defused ones in other countries?

Now, you might say that the problem is _close to nonexistent relative to other problems such as car accidents_. Many people say this. It's a valid point.

Let me counter it however with something: In that case, let's say the government sent agents out to kill random civilians criticizing them. NOT a great deal, NOT tens of thousands - only, say, a couple of hundred a year, _far below_ the number of car deaths. Would you then in your hypocritical self demand, say.. action? That something should happen? That society in itself should exercise a MASSIVE effort that changed and affected and made more uncomfortable and disorganised the lives of lots of people, for the sake of a _close to nonexistant problem_?

I would certainly oppose that, since it's literally nonexistant for me, and I wouldn't be the one who piss people off and they came for first. Besides, if anything you should improve car security first.

Re the actual topic of the thread - I am absolutely for mandatory data retention, but there's no need for anything more than a short period, say 30 or 60 days. Any posting on fundamentalist message boards (the equivalent of The Government Agent Association for the Execution of Bothersome Citizens) should be spotted in that time and they could ask the ISP to put the guy on the 'save-history-for-longer-periods-of-time list'.

Re:Data Retention... (3, Interesting)

cluckshot (658931) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498935)

I worked in a prison as a health care worker a few years ago. During that time I learned that this prision hospital was run by sex offenders. Prisons are run by the inmates if people outside them do not know. This prison hospital in Nashville Tennessee had its "rock men" (prison laborers) all being sex offenders. During that time I learned a lot about sex offenders.

The general profile of a sex offender is someone who cannot control their impulses sexually in some area. Generally they are fairly charismatic people though their intelligence varies from very poor to very great. One such man was the former head of the Vaderbilt Universities program to deal with teen aged girls who were sexually molested. (???!!!)

I learned that the various US States have a network between them to conspire on release of such prisoners to attempt to release the worst ones into areas which were not aware of their crimes. Generally one state would release its worst offenders into another state and so on.The upshot here is that the government of the various US States are actually conspiring to destroy any effective citizen control of sexual offenders.

The whole war on terror is nothing but an effort to relieve the citizens of ther rights. Stated more clearly nothing these men have done in the name of stopping terror has been related to it. Everything they have done is related to removing the citizens rights and preventing them from containing the run away state. Take a look! The army is being destroyed. The war is being lost in the battle field. The citizens are under attack for expression of their rights. As a best example: When I get a cold, I can only buy one package of pseudoephedrine with a maximum of 10 pills for 30 days. I need more than that for a cold. I must sign a list. Yet if they wanted to catch Meth Lab guys they would have the list but no limit. Big orders would be allowed and the drug types would be tracked because nobody needs their quantities. The subsitute drugs are known to cause heart attacks.

At the same time try calling your police entities trying to get a detective to investigate drug operations. I live next to a family of known drug offenders with prison records. I couldn't even get the sheriff to come out to witness their open selling in the street! I had to threaten to paint signs on the street, "Crack House Here" complete with arrows before they would even patrol. The sheriff is a political friend of mine! Honestly this situation is fully out of control. The FBI doesn't even answer their phone in Alabama! Try dialing if you doubt me!

Re:Data Retention... (3, Funny)

WhatDoIKnow (962719) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499183)

"The FBI doesn't even answer their phone in Alabama! Try dialing if you doubt me!"

They probably have caller ID...

Re:Data Retention... (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499199)

Apperently the FBI is very busy at the moment pursuing corrupt polititons and party appointed public officials, which has earnt it the emnity of the current administration.

An FBI that doesn't pursue a party preffered lobbyist line is an FBI that is dangerously out of control? It seems to me that they have been pretty effective of late, not that it would require any great effort, there seems to be quite a few blatanly corrupt targets for them aim at (and they might be aiming pretty high), and come December with the release of the party political shackles huntin' season will be wide open.

Re:Data Retention... (1)

Kurayamino-X (557754) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499261)

just for reference, the only people making meth out of psudoephedrine tablets are retards. It's much easier to just social engineer you way to aquiring a larger order of ephedrine from a chemical supply outfit.

Supplying free SAN's to ISP's as well? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16497985)

I used darkstat once on 2 T1's for a 24 hour period just the URL log was over 500MB, no packet captures, no session data.
Just imagine an OC-3, you are talking about a lot of storage space.

Re:Supplying free SAN's to ISP's as well? (3, Interesting)

Incadenza (560402) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498435)

In the Netherlands the NBIP [www.nbip.nl] just released the numbers of government ordered Internet-taps for January till September this year:

Number of taps: 31
Cost per tap: EUR 9.500 (US$ 11.900)
Compensation per tap: EUR 13 (US$ 16)

How much was that SAN again?

Re:Supplying free SAN's to ISP's as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498699)

The cost per tap was only so high because the number of taps was so low.
With 31000 instead of 31 taps they probably can make a profit.

Re:Supplying free SAN's to ISP's as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16499059)

you can move the data to a central place, but who will pay for the bandwidth to move the data? is bandwidth cheaper than storage?

Re:Supplying free SAN's to ISP's as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16499067)


Number of taps: 31
Cost per tap: EUR 9.500 (US$ 11.900)
Compensation per tap: EUR 13 (US$ 16)


So the taps cost around $12 a tap and they're paid $16 a tap? Sounds like a pretty good deal, though storage costs probably eat up much more money.. probably nearly $50.500 for small SAN setup using a single ATA drive. ;-)

/yea, I know, just making fun of Europeans and their silly use of the decimal instead of commas.

Thats right,, the Fed suspects YOU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16497993)

Ahh, ISP's are helping the t'irrists now..
So looks like we all get our packets logged.
300 million people is a lot of potential terrorists to keep track of.
This feels so strange to actually have a front row seat to the destruction of what used to be called the American Way.

btw: Who do you think will be paying for that storage? Yup, your right.. the American taxpayer!

Re:Thats right,, the Fed suspects YOU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498207)

these guys never give up do they? power hungry 13yr old kiddies on an IRCD competeing for an O-line, its pathetic. I dont think the taxpayer will be paying for the storage, the customer will be paying for the storage. i agree with your comment on the destruction of what used to be called the american way, look at what bush just signed, he rendered millions of lost lives worthless by people who were fighting for freedom, he wrecked hundreds of years worth of work on the government, and he now just imprisoned 300million americans! thats just fucked, i recon he's trying to leave his mark on the world, i see it as a huge scare for years to come.

thats why i stopped letting the government and isp cunts from collecting my information, now i only come on the SHInTernet to read slashdot and for work, all my personal stuff is done over anonet [anonet.org] , sad, but its my only way of protesting as i am a paraplegic.

why? (4, Insightful)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16497995)

Mueller went further and said that the US needs stricter data retention guidelines.

With the AT&Ts "collaboration" with the NSA, and CARNIVORE, one would think the government already has all the tools they need. Are they now saying that's not enough? That's kind of pathetic, don't you think?

It will never be "enough". (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498159)

Despite all the statistical evidence that this does NOT work to PREVENT any "terrorist" acts ... they will attempt to use this to intimidate people into voluntarily restricting their actions.

When every search / posting / IM / etc from you is available to elected officials (and may be accidentally "leaked"), they hope that most people will self-censor their activities to only items that would be "appropriate".

Should you ever take a stand against the elected officials, they will have access to your records ... but you will not have access to their's. Asymmetrical. And because they are the government, they can release only the information they want from your records. Only the information that shows that you are really a wannabe child molesting, America hating, terrorist loving, Communistic, gay atheist.

It's all about maintaining power and control.

Re:It will never be "enough". (5, Interesting)

aaza (635147) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498271)

I would like to see this for all "we are observing you for your own good" type legislation:

The first step is to try it out on politicians (they are public figures, after all), with the information being freely available to anyone who wants it. No FOI requests, just a wget (or similar) from a webserver. Severe penalties if that information is not available. Naturally, servers do go down, and that's fine, but that information should be available within 24 hours of it being recorded.

If they are willing to do that, then maybe they could be allowed to do it to the public. I think there would be a severe reduction in stupid laws if politicians (but not other members of the public) were subjected to them during a trial period, with the general public being able to see the results.

Re:It will never be "enough". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498609)

The first thing that will be said to stop/block this kind of lab-testing : "Stupid you ! the movement of gouverment officials is *secret* information. You don't want to give all those terrorists informtion on when those people are where, so they can be bombed, do you ? Are you perhaps a terrorist yourself ?"

Someone said "Asymmetrical", and that is what it will be. You won't be able to find out *anything* about the people who think they should have the right to put you on continuous surveillance (because that is what it is/will be getting to), but anything you did will be available to them for whatever reason. Currently only for "grave reasons" like terrorism (but who of us will be able/allowed to verify that ?), but within a few years for as much as jaywalking (put a cat onto the bacon, and guess what happens).

Re:It will never be "enough". (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498933)

Despite all the statistical evidence that this does NOT work to PREVENT any "terrorist" acts ... they will attempt to use this to intimidate people into voluntarily restricting their actions.

What evidence? Something along the lines of: "Log all network traffic of 300 million Americans, forming vast haystack, in which is one terrorist needle that you can't find, therefore it doesnt' work." Something like that?

I don't suppose that tracking and focusing on known terrorists, or communications with sites with known links to terrorist organizations, figures into that.

When every search / posting / IM / etc from you is available to elected officials (and may be accidentally "leaked"), they hope that most people will self-censor their activities to only items that would be "appropriate".

Elected officials? Like who? Exactly how are they going to get these to leak them? Do you think that county treasurers will be showing up to demand copies of email? No chance of any backlash by voters? Self-censor? As if that is a huge problem.

Should you ever take a stand against the elected officials, they will have access to your records ...

Doubtful.. There will be more records, but access to them probably won't be much different than today.

but you will not have access to their's. Asymmetrical.

Isn't that pretty much the way access to any other records held by the government work out? Do you get the see the tax records of the cop who gave you a ticket, or the adoption records of the driver's license examiner?

And because they are the government, they can release only the information they want from your records. Only the information that shows that you are really a wannabe child molesting, America hating, terrorist loving, Communistic, gay atheist.

I guess it is impossible for someone to keep their own logs / records, or get copies of the retained ones, and release the data that sets the story straight. Of course, where you are going, why should any of them go to the trouble of actually getting records and not just make things up? That is more or less what you are already heading. It would certainly be more convenient to just make it up.

It's all about maintaining power and control.

Nonsense. Power and control in America comes from winning elections. The US has a president for two terms, at most, not a "President for Life" who has to try and prop himself up.

Re:why? (4, Insightful)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499003)

one would think the government already has all the tools they need. Are they now saying that's not enough?

They already have a lot of data, but that's not what it's all about:

"Disaffected people living in the United States may develop radical ideologies and potentially violent skills over the Internet and that could present the next major U.S. security threat, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Monday."

So, it's not just Terrorists (TM) anymore, it's the "disaffected" they're after.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=2574462

Re:why? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499135)

With the AT&Ts "collaboration" with the NSA, and CARNIVORE, one would think the government already has all the tools they need. Are they now saying that's not enough? That's kind of pathetic, don't you think?

No, it just may mean that they aren't doing what you think they are doing in the way you think they are doing it, if they are doing anything at all.

There are plenty of cases where people "know" the government is doing things, which are false or absurd. Fake moon landings and some of the wilder stories about Area 51 come to mind. I find those more pathetic than the idea that additional evidence (data) could be useful in tracking down terrorists and their connections.

I like the way you use "collaboration".

Re:why? (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499171)

Yes, and I am actually surprised they tried to pull the 'it's against the terrorists' trick again, I thought it had lost all its believability already. Couldn't they just have said that it was for 'catching pedophiles'? That one works always!

It's news like this that makes me appreciate the movie V for Vendetta. How many of you now read this news and not think 'What a load of bullshit!'.

Psychological warfare (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498007)

According to the article: Psychological Warfare: "The Internet--an uncensored medium that carries stories, pictures, threats, or messages regardless of their validity or potential impact--is peculiarly well suited to allowing even a small group to amplify its message and exaggerate its importance and the threat it poses."

Isn't what the actual US government doing, with its war on terra'? Bush and the terrorists, same combat.

How to retain this data... (2, Funny)

aaza (635147) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498019)

Print it out as it happens, on a dotmatrix line printer, on that awful blue and white tractor feed paper. As an archive box fills up, FedEx it to the FBI, with payment from recipient. Alternatively, store the (unnumbered) archive box in a damp warehouse. When they ask for it, show them where it is.

There's no rule about how to store it, is there?

Re:How to retain this data... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498155)

you make life hard for feds but a lot more harder for yourself. where in the world are you going to find a dot matrix printer that can print that fast? as someone already pointed out, the data was 500MB for 2 T1's for 24 hrs. that is 5*10^8/86400 or about 5800 characters per second. that is just the URLs.

and the cost of paper & ink & printer & power & space will be orders of magnitude greater than storing it on magnetic medium.

Re:How to retain this data... (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498423)

store it in a proprietary file system, and then don't let anyone know how it works for "trade secrets" reasons. (Or better yet, just make it a really bad file system design, such that the it is extremely likely for the data to be damaged "accidentally" by a few bad writes.)

Re:How to retain this data... (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498473)

That is why you use a laser printer with microscopic type. Say, a character size of .1 mm by .1 mm

Re:How to retain this data... (2, Funny)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498605)

I make a backup of all unwanted logs on /dev/null

I get a really really good compression ratio

I'll leave it to the govmint to try and extract it; I tell them they can recover lost data from /dev/random!

Quick! Where's the emergency stop switch... (1)

smokin_juan (469699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498055)

I think the government is broken!

Almost seems like the US and Europe are teaming up, Euro with their licensing and the US with their logging.

This is tame compared to what they have planned now that Bush has his Enabling Act signed into law.

I hope it gets worse - we deserve it for having sat on our asses doing nothing* this long.

*voting, writing congressmen, campeigning and protesting obviously don't count.

Answer to unwanted data retention is poisoning (5, Interesting)

slaida1 (412260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498065)

Database poisoning, ie. entering information that is not only bogus but also harmful, making previously useful lookups turn back so much garbage that real info is hard to find. In other words, some kind of proxy program on client side that loads pages from given list of addresses. That list can be composed of all sites possibly under surveillance. It randomly loads pages in the background, makes google searches with offending words, but doesn't bother user with the data it loads.

Re:Answer to unwanted data retention is poisoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498343)

Unfortunately database poisoning is hard. Randomly loading pages doesn't do it because the data miners don't look for randomness. Purposeful browsing clearly stands out among random connections to the very same servers. It's like those silly email taglines with lots of supposed trigger words. People aren't poisoning databases with those. Instead they're neatly tagging themselves as members of a group of people who are easily misled and have a dissenting attitude towards government surveillance.

Re:Answer to unwanted data retention is poisoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498491)

some friends and I are already doing this. It all started out on irc with people randomly saying "TERRORISM!!11" and the like as a joke. Now it's at the stage where we randomly introduce BOMB words into WHITEHOUSE sentences. False positives rock. Someone has even written a perl script to spit out a sentence which utters jibberish (to us it's jibberish, to the nsa it's possibly golddust ;) ) every now and then.

Should anyone knock on our doors we've done nothing illegal. But then again, this is likely to be one of those things where we get whisked off to egypt for "further questioning".

By the way, captcha for this was "idiotic". Does slashdot use some sort of keyword system to use captchas which are relevant to the story? :)

Re:Answer to unwanted data retention is poisoning (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498647)

Should anyone knock on our doors we've done nothing illegal.

It may not be illegal yet, but you realize that the dude in the whitehouse just signed a bill that could effectively suspend habaeus corpus - for US citizens?

Re:Answer to unwanted data retention is poisoning (2, Insightful)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499029)

Thank god for judicial review. Too bad it won't happen before the crackpot gets replaced.

Add to "to do" list for new Congress (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498075)

Add stopping this to the list of "things to do after the Democrats take over Congress".

Don't forget to vote, everybody.

And remember, as one leading Democrat has said, if Democrats control either house, there's going to be "oversight, oversight, oversight". Look how much has come out with the Republicans in charge: everything from the plan to divide up northern Iraq amongst oil companies to the CIA's torture program. There has to be more stuff we haven't heard about. Look forward to people like the FBI Director testifying under oath before Congress. Coming soon to a C-SPAN channel near you.

You might also want to volunteer to be a poll watcher, especially if you're in a state with Diebold voting machines.

Re:Add to "to do" list for new Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498537)

credit where it's due, this rendition crap was going on with clinton in power, not that that makes it ok of course.

One of my most favorite quotes (5, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498101)

"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him"

-Cardinal Richelieu (French Minister and Cardinal. 1585-1642)

Re:One of my most favorite quotes (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498451)

One of my favorite quotes:

Eye Yam Sofa King Wee Todd Ed

Re:One of my most favorite quotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498517)

The french always took speling and grammar very seriously.

Re:One of my most favorite quotes (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499001)


I don't think the vile Cardinal had to convince a jury of his peers, and answer endless appeals through several levels of appeals courts.

Wrong outcomes are still possible under the American system, but I think your odds are much better than under the French monarchy.

Re:One of my most favorite quotes (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499049)

Irrelevant. If you can smear out these "fact" in the media long enough, it will ruin your life. Even if you win the case in court, you will have lost a lot.

Wouldn't it be cool.. (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498113)

if the people who make legislation actually had some idea about the problem the legislation was supposed to solve? Or, ya know, refused to vote for something they didn't understand? Just a simple "introduction to hacking" course would help so many of them recognise that data retention aint going to help you track a hacker. I hate to say it, but I honestly think the only way to "police the Internet" is to give policing powers to a police force. Those powers would include the right to enter systems without permission, install logging software, etc. Question is, who would you want to trust with that much power?
   

Re:Wouldn't it be cool.. (1)

Professr (662142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498211)

My position has always been, we can't keep people from having that kind of power. I've always felt that, by the time a person learns all that's required to obtain this power on their own, they have also learned some measure of responsibility in the process. "Hackers" these days, whether crackers, white-hats, or black-hats operate on a level so far above Joe Public (and even above your average IT professional) that maintaining the internet's security is out of our hands. At the moment, we're relying on a balance, with sysadmins, whitehats, and often times blackhats pitted against script kiddies, crackers, and others who destabilize the net for their own gain.

Re:Wouldn't it be cool.. (2, Informative)

panaceaa (205396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498395)

data retention aint going to help you track a hacker.

This is logically false. I can give you a theoretical and a practical example. Theoretically, any information is more helpful than no information. The only practical exception would be polluting good information with bad information, but since this information would be logically separate from existing information, this problem would not exist.

Practically, have you ever tracked down a hacker at your company? Logs are the BEST place to do this. Look for SQL injection attempts in URLs. Track those IP addresses to see where else they went. If you know the IP address already, you can look up what user account they were using. There's tons and tons of information in logs. You're suggesting that it's wise for a corporation to delete this data??? The argument is less concrete when you're talking about an ISP's logs, but data retention within a corporation's network is a great idea.

Re:Wouldn't it be cool.. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499165)

pollution is exactly the problem. When tracing hackers you can't trust that data. ISPs don't have good security. Hackers connect to things like wireless access points, jump through unsecured web servers, back through unsecured home PCs, etc, etc. Supposing you get ISPs to retain connection times for dialup users, what the hell does that tell you? Do you honestly think a hacker is connecting via a dialup? Connection times for DSL? Cable? Forget about it. So what are ISPs supposed to do? Run intrusion detection software? What do they do when they spot an attack? Block it? Tell the user? Of course, so what's the point of retaining the data again? If the network was secure you wouldn't need to retain the data. Great catch-22 there. Maybe you suspect that ISPs should log every packet in and out of their network? There isn't enough harddrives in a Google data centre to do that!

No, the only conceivable use for this stuff is to log what web pages the current government's political opponents are visiting, or to trace back naive file sharing users for the RIAA.

Part of the solution... (2, Interesting)

r_naked (150044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498137)


Republicans or Democrats in office will not matter. The US has started down a road that has no end (at least not a pretty one).

So if you can't change them, change yourself. Come be part of the solution [anonet.org] .

The Fifth Wave* (5, Interesting)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498139)

Nobody starts the morning with the goal of "Today I will convert our system of government into a totalitarian autocracy" -- no good person, or group of people would willingly do that.

However, by one tiny chip of compromise after another, one infinitesimal shift to accommodate a "reasonable response" after another, a group of people can turn into "The (choose ethnic group) Problem" and suddenly it's okay to treat people as things, the only capital crime there is. You never quite know where you cross the line and suddenly you have become the enemy your grandparents fought war, bloody war to prevent from turning the future into a long night of horror.

Will you have the courage to say "NO" to the new Gestapo? They're just nice guys like you who have a job to do, y'know? Or will you draw a line somewhere and say "At long last, Mr. McCarthy, have you no shame?"

(*Title refers to the short story in The Last Whole Earth Catalog. Find it and read it. Was a school experiment designed to show how good people could turn into black, black Nazis and why there were no Nazi's in Germany after the war. Scares the tar out of me, more so as the days go by.)

Re:The Fifth Wave* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498529)

The Last Whole Earth Catalog 1971 doesn't appear to be online. Anyone know the title of that story in case someone might've put it on the web separately?

Re:The Fifth Wave* (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499071)

However, by one tiny chip of compromise after another, one infinitesimal shift to accommodate a "reasonable response" after another, a group of people can turn into "The (choose ethnic group) Problem" and suddenly it's okay to treat people as things, the only capital crime there is. You never quite know where you cross the line and suddenly you have become the enemy your grandparents fought war, bloody war to prevent from turning the future into a long night of horror.

This is utter bull. The crimes are planning terrorist attacks, conducting terrorist attacks, and supporting terrorists with tangible resources, or treason [go.com]

Voting against President Clinton or Bush is not a crime.

Complaining against government policy in the newspapers or to your representative is not a crime.

Peaceful, lawful protests are not a crime. (Ya, ya, I know.)

Civil disobedience can be a crime, but one which is generally lightly punished.

Taking up arms against the United States is a crime.

Blowing up, shooting, stabbing, poisoning, or otherwise killing or plotting to kill Americans is a crime.

Donating to charity acting as a front to funnel money to terrorist organizations is a crime. (See Hamas) Those charities are generally designated in public records.

These aren't hard lines to understand, or avoid. (When in doubt, leave the bomb or gun at home.)

This is why I'm against data retention (-1, Redundant)

ztransform (929641) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498141)

If the law wasn't so f&%#ed up I would totally support data retention. Catching criminals, perverts, and offenders is something I encourage and stand behind.

However, the RIAA has too much legal muscle. They abused society with their monopoly on physical recording formats. They lost that battle. Coming into the game late and charging a fair fee for songs on-line is too little too late - will they refund us the monsterous charges for times past? While politicians idly stand by and allow RIAA to abuse society through lawsuits there is no good reason to preserve data for these sadistic creatures.

Helps after an attack has already happened (5, Insightful)

ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498179)

Since the terrorists will be using encrypted messages or coded messages which don't appear to be anything special (you know those -1 Slashdot comments are for something), this will help retrace the terrorist's online activities after people have died in a terrorist attack. My guess: lots of porn and a few messages to E-mail accounts which no longer exist.

It's just that there are so many disposable E-mail accounts available and the easy access to Internet cafes. If someone is using a disposable E-mail account and an Internet terminal which is paid for in loose change (usually used in airports), how are you going to track that person down one month later? What if the terminal is outside the United States?

Not to mention free Linksys brand wireless Internet access which is available in most areas.

Any government fighting terrorists needs to setup its own terrorist propaganda websites which make use of Microsoft Internet Explorer's many vulnerabilities. Spyware for the spies. Microsoft's poor security practices not only hurt you, they also hurt the terrorists. Of course terrorists using Firefox screws us all.

Re:Helps after an attack has already happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498817)

Microsoft's poor security practices not only hurt you, they also hurt the terrorists. Of course terrorists using Firefox screws us all.
I always suspected that OSS is basicly nothing more than a bunch of terrorist tools! :-)

Hats off to the modern spy state (5, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498185)

Here's the trick. Don't scare your population with too many moves at once. Take away their freedoms one by one, starting with the ones no-one really cares about. Let other countries take one step too far, and if their populations don't squeal, make a further step yourself.

So the EU enacted its spy state law last year, while people said, "even the states does not go that far". The EU Data Retention Directive wants (it needs to be ratified by individual countries) to track every phone call made, every email sent, every web site visited, every cell phone location, and hold this data for over a decade. The data would be available to non-governmental organisations (private firms). Anonymous internet usage would be banned. Anonymous prepaid mobile phone cards would be banned. All this, of course, to save us from terrorism and organised crime.

And the UK has constructed a surveillance system that beats anything ever built by the soviet spy states. Every public urban space is monitored, recorded, tracked. The only privacy you have is in your home, where you are safely under house arrest, unable to do anything to damage the interests of the state.

It was just a matter of time before the FBI asked for the same powers. What police force would not? It's a copper's wet dream. Every one of us stinking criminals-in-waiting tracked like cockroaches in a pen. No more crime. No more disorder. No more rebellion.

Re:Hats off to the modern spy state (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498297)

Ha, that is a quality post. Sorry to bring up 1984 again, it's a popular reference nowadays, but for a good reason. Anyone who read it understands why. And yes, it's not a good strategy to intimidate the population at once. It's carried out in subtle, incremental steps.

UK Data Protection Rules (2, Informative)

rf0 (159958) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498217)

I would hope that the UK's Data Protection Rules [direct.gov.uk] will basically tell the US to get lost if they come knocking. However as there is the special relationship I expect it will just be ignored

Re:UK Data Protection Rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498813)

I would hope that the UK's Data Protection Rules [direct.gov.uk] will basically tell the US to get lost if they come knocking. However as there is the special relationship I expect it will just be ignored

Keep pulling on that roach. The bloody fucks were supposed to start enforcing their own laws against data exchange with the US three years ago. The ban was to last until US data protection equalled that of the EU. Fat fucking chance. They drank the koolaid and started "negotiations", which have gone on for at least three years. But the data exchange went on unabated instead of stopping immediately as required by the law.

It got even worse when the suppurating pussies agreed to hand over information even on people traversing US airspace with no intention of landing here.

In short, the nutless EU rolled over on its back and started licking Uncle Sam's balls, promising to enjoy it when he came on their faces.

Please read the article before quoting... (2, Informative)

i-neo (176120) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498223)

[...] If that happens, how long before the MPAA and RIAA start asking to take a peek at the data too, as they have in Europe?"
If you had read the article about what will be done in Europe, you would know they only store connection logs (phone, internet...) and not the data. This makes quite a big difference. Please don't travestite reality.

Re:Please read the article before quoting... (4, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498531)

The connection logs are often all you need to paint a strong picture of who's in contact with who.

Let's say, for instance, that the logs for my telephone show a number of calls to a satellite phone in Afghanistan. Suddenly, I'm a suspect the next time a bomb goes off within about 150 miles of me. What am I saying to this person in Afghanistan? Well, actually, it's my sister who went over there as part of a red cross relief effort, but the local police don't know that and while they're holding me to confirm it, my employer is asking questions.

Questions like "What sort of a person is this who was arrested last week and hasn't been heard from since? Best replace him."

After that happens, it's rather hard to get another job. A common interview question is "Why did you leave your last job?" and the honest answer ("I was arrested and held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act owing to poor evidence") tends to put off prospective employers - chances are they stopped listening after the word "arrested" and now just want me off the premises as quickly as possible.

Re:Please read the article before quoting... (1)

i-neo (176120) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498613)

I just said that data are not stored.
I didn't say the logs are harmless.

However you must be pretty innocent if you believe your connection logs were anonymous before this law. The only thing you can hide is the data you send, but you cannot hide the path it took since you do not control it. I know Tor network exist but I don't support it for some ethical reasons (ie content been exchanged on this network).

Therefore I think encrypting data you send is enough for privacy, if they need to know more, they will come to you or the other end of the communication. But it seems to me enough work to limit those investigations. I have nothing to hide, if they want to know what I said/wrote/sent through any media using an encrytpion, they can just ask me. It is the best way to keep control of my privacy from my point of view.

Regards

While *theoretically* a good idea... (2, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498227)

Phone companies do it, after all...

It is nevertheless impractical for ISP's to do the same because there are several orders of magnitude more simultaneous connections than there are with phone companies because phone calls typically last on the order of minutes, while individual IP packets take less than a fraction of a second to transmit and they are done. One could track entire TCP streams, but even those can be over in less than a second, and it wouldn't be helpful for tracking things like UDP or even raw IP. It would require absolutely huge amounts of data storage to chronicle even a single hour's usage in entirety on a major ISP, let alone keeping it around for days or weeks.

Re:While *theoretically* a good idea... (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498585)

This is true, but what about just recording unique IPs and timestamp(s)? Just one timestamp per second. How many different servers / peers do users connect to per hour? Probably not many.

On Liberty: (4, Insightful)

i)ave (716746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498261)

Excerpt from John Stuart Mill's On Liberty
"The principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That is the only purpose for which power can be rightfully excersized over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to some one else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."

There are 2 questions, really:
  • 1) Does spying on everyone's internet use threaten everyone's Liberty to use it?
  • 2) What happens when there are 2 people, meaning to harm others, but the only way to know how to prevent that harm is to restrict their "liberty of action" along with everyone else's?

If you're looking for a guess, I don't have it. All I know is that it bothers me when the government's fear of people they can't even identify is enough reason for them to start "monitoring" the 300 million people in our country that they can identify. I don't know how much liberty one has if they are aware that everything they type, or every call they make, is "monitored". Is that liberty? Does that make anyone feel safer?

Re:On Liberty: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16499089)

Correlation is not causation.

One can be "free" and monitored simultaneously, as we are today, but that does not prove that the monitoring is good. "Free" and "monitored" are two different things and should not be considered equal. More monitoring does not give more freedom and less monitoring does not give less freedom.

We all believe there is a correlation between more monitoring and non-free societies, but is the monitoring what is causing a society to have less freedom or is there a third factor such as an oppressive goverment that is causing both the monitoring and the reduction in freedom?

To answer this with anything but opinion we must define what we mean by "free" and what rights we give to our goverment what they can do to us. Many people believes that a definition of "free" must include being allowed to go about our business without being watched. We should not give the goverment the right to spy on us lightly.

Who watches the watchers.

European Data Retention and the *AAs (4, Interesting)

Ngwenya (147097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498293)

The summary does right in pointing out that retaining this stuff attracts copyright holders like flies round shit, but, thankfully for the moment, they're not allowed access to this data [in fact, it would be a criminal offence if they were granted such access]. Part of the fighting between the EU commission and the EU parliament was that the parliament wanted access locked down to ultra-specific cases (things that could be prosecuted under the European Arrest Warrant only). They didn't get it, but the compromise was that access could only be granted for serious criminal activities, defined by each member state's law.

Civil torts (ie, copyright infringement) are way outside the ballpark by anybody's measure, so it'll be a long while before they wheedle their way into this. They will try, but Big Content doesn't hold quite the same disproportionate influence in the EU that it does in the USA. So, from a US point of view, I think that you have much more to fear from data retention that EU citizens have, given that AG Gonzales explicitly mentioned copyright infringement in his reasons for pushing this turd of an idea.

Not saying that the data retention doesn't suck - just that the existing fears of abuse are more than enough the scare the bejesus out of me without imagining what *AA snooping would be like. I've yet to be convinced that it's not the usual government trick of "let's spend lots of money (better still, other people's money) on a problem, and rely on the traditional public belief that the government is tackling something because it wouldn't spend billions to accomplish nothing".

--Ng

Re:European Data Retention and the *AAs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498405)

FYI: Guenther Krings, a member of the party which is currently in power in Germany and spokesman for the second stage of the copyright reform, has recently remarked that, if the data has been collected, it can be used to prosecute copyright violations. He also wants to eradicate anonymous internet access, for obvious reasons.

Re:European Data Retention and the *AAs (1)

Ngwenya (147097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498749)

FYI: Guenther Krings, a member of the party which is currently in power in Germany and spokesman for the second stage of the copyright reform, has recently remarked that, if the data has been collected, it can be used to prosecute copyright violations.


Not if it's been collected under the aegis of the EU Data Retention Directive, it can't. Now, Germany is free to pass whatever laws it sees fit. If it wants to retain data for 20 years, it is free to pass such legislation. But the EU DRD is ultra-clear, which is that data so retained may only be accessed for criminal invesiigation and prosecution only. There was a section which said that it could be used for prevention of crime (which was such a wide open door that it was removed).

It is possible that criminal copyright violation (which is a much bigger leap than traditional copyright infringement) could be investigated, but only if the investigation was linked, say, to organised crime, or that the proceeds of such violations were funding, for example, terrorism.

In the UK, retained data can only be accessed with a court order. and the courts have been told that they should not issue such orders unless criminal charges have already been filed against a suspect. Since copyright infringement is generally not a criminal offence (except in rare circumstances), but a civil tort, a court order can not be granted to examine retained ISP records.

Of course, in the course of discovery, a civil case might request ISP IP records for a particular subscriber. That's fine - but the generalised trawl of data by private parties would be illegal (under current UK and EU law).

--Ng

Re:European Data Retention and the *AAs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16499103)

Not if it's been collected under the aegis of the EU Data Retention Directive, it can't. Now, Germany is free to pass whatever laws it sees fit.

The EU Data Retention Directive is a EU directive [wikipedia.org] , which in short means that it compels the EU members to enact laws in the spirit of the directive. The directive itself doesn't limit access to the retained data and has only very soft constraints on the implementation. (If you think it does compel the EU members to limit access in any significant way, please point me to the respective article of the actual directive. Hearsay is irrelevant.) Basically it is up to the member states to decide on the circumstances which justify access to the data.

With that in mind, reread my previous comment: Guenther Krings, a member of the party which is currently in power in Germany and spokesman for the second stage of the copyright reform, has recently remarked that, if the data has been collected, it can be used to prosecute copyright violations. He also wants to eradicate anonymous internet access, for obvious reasons.

I know I can't blame that on the EU directive alone, but IMHO the omission of clear and strict access limitations from the directive, even though such limitations were considered, is a dead giveaway that the directive wasn't really designed to "fight terrorism". We're being sold because the majority of the people has switched into panic mode ever since 9/11, so the government only has to say boo (aka "terrorism") to justify whatever it had always wanted but couldn't get before 9/11. And we didn't even have a single significant and "successful" act of terrorism in Germany for decades.

Dear FBI, (5, Funny)

bunhed (208100) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498381)

The terrorists are broadcasting communications with steganography embedded in all those viagra and stock option emails. Please filter and retain all spam for further detailed and ongoing analysis.

thank you,
everyone

Bring it on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498397)

What's the government going to do with a log of my ssh tunnel routed through tor? Are they going to build a huge entropy pool for seeding their cyphers or making one time pads? Or maybe use the white noise frequencies generated by the bit patterns to jam terrorist radios? Whatever they do, it won't have anything to do with obtaining any human readible DATA about my online activity.

Re:Bring it on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498521)

Their options are:
  • Jail you for refusing to hand over the encryption keys (if you live in the UK)
  • Jail you for using encryption (if you live in France)
  • Jail you without telling you any reason (if you live in the US)

tunneling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498477)

Aahahahahaaaa, let em log as much as they want... relakks.com :)

And who is going to pay for this? (5, Insightful)

tehSpork (1000190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498481)

First, the practical:

I'm sorry, but I am not going to waste my resources storing every email every one of my customers has received from now until kingdom come. Unlike Google, I don't have the spare cash sitting around for that kind of storage space. Make it a law and I bet you see a surge of ISPs basing their servers offshore to protect their investment (customer privacy mainly).

Secondly, the privacy concern

So the FBI reading my sarcastic emails to friends and family is going to help us catch a bunch of terrorists who, last I heard, had one webmaster who was stupid enough to get himself arrested in Germany? I've got news for you guys: Teenagers, CEOs, and computer enthusiasts coordinate things through the internet. I imagine terrorists prefer suicide bombing training camps or mountain hideaways for their secret conferences. Besides, we haven't heard anything of Al Qaeda declaring Jihad on Microsoft over Netmeeting or even MSN Messenger, so it is highly doubtful that they have tried to use them. :p

As far as 'terrorist websites' go, the FBI just needs to get some of their buds at the CIA to break into the server and plant a basic hit reporter. Figure out who is logging in and making changes, and you've got your man.

Dissenting view (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498541)

Schneier on Security: The Death of Ephemeral Conversation [schneier.com]

The Justice Department wants to make this problem even worse, by forcing ISPs and others to save our communications -- just in case we're someday the target of an investigation. This is not only bad privacy and security, it's a blow to our liberty as well. A world without ephemeral conversation is a world without freedom.

We can't turn back technology; electronic communications are here to stay. But as technology makes our conversations less ephemeral, we need laws to step in and safeguard our privacy. We need a comprehensive data privacy law, protecting our data and communications regardless of where it is stored or how it is processed. We need laws forcing companies to keep it private and to delete it as soon as it is no longer needed.

Google fans will kill me but... (4, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498873)

I hope one day you post similar feedback to Google over "data kept forever, mail is never really deleted, analysed for advertising purposes"...

You know.. Gmail..

i think telcos already do this (1)

TTL0 (546351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16498903)

if their sysadmin lables the backup tapes is a different story. but i think the data is there.

This is a problem that doesn't concern me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16498957)


How many people are killed by government agents and survelliance activities each year? Or even less harmful, have their lives ruined by leaks? I can pretty much guarantee you that it's a laughably small proportion of the number killed in car crashes, and it is bizarre and frankly a result of the endemic mental illness in the American population that they react so irrationally and disproportionally to the real threat of the issue.

If they cared about securing lives and freedom you would think they would go for where the issues are biggest, but no, that's not really the main priority, the main priority has little to do with freedom and lives and a lot to do with furthering agendas.

Also, I am sorry to say it, but many who are killed by agents as a result of surveillance like this, which may include slashdotters (sorry, but it's the truth) have, in part, brought it up on themselves, either directly or by being ideological and symbolic supporters for a policy that hurts other people. Try a little bit of the so-called 'introspective technique' before you go ranting about the unfair wrongdoings other people subject you to. I don't care because 1) as said, the chance of falling victim to a shot in the head from a government agent sent to kill you over your surfing habits is extremely small, much smaller than the risk of driving to work every day, 2) I don't do what you do, so I'm not a prime target, and I can't find myself caring a lot for you.

The land that used to known as "Of the Free" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16499123)

The way America is going it seems that the only ones who are free will be terrorists and illegals ( ie the unknown ). You seem to be turning the whole country into an open jail with the walls at the ( formerly ) undefended borders. How sad

Here is the deal (3, Insightful)

el_womble (779715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499129)

It is the job of:

  • Doctors to tell politions that everything that is bad for us should be banned and force us to live in a bubble to to stop us from getting sick.
  • Armed Forces to say that we should destroy all other nations and force us to live in bunkers to prevent us from getting killed
  • Police Force to demand that they can monitor all people at all times in order to stop crime
  • Politians to defend our liberty from all of these people, inform you of all of their findings and to impose laws to protect your freedoms not increase security
  • You to make sure your elected officials are doing what you and your fellow country men


It is the guy from the FBIs job to demand that our freedoms be observered and monitored. It is his job to lobby politians to pass laws to make his job easier and minimize the tax burden of his department. Its the politians job to take him seriously, concider the facts and then tell him bollocks. If he fails to do this it is your job to make it very clear that this is unacceptable, and then not vote for him in the next elections. If he gets in, then thats democracy, and the freedom that you thought was important, was clearly not that important to your fellow countryman.

Its perfectly possible that, despite living in a liberal democracy at the moment what the people want is to live under the rule of a paternal dictatorship - people are stupid. If thats the case, then democracy will let that happen. All you can do then is either raise a militia or leave. I guess you could always try and educate people, but thats never worked in the past ;)
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