FBI wants your online activity tracked, and wants web pricing to go up | Wis.Community

FBI wants your online activity tracked, and wants web pricing to go up

The FBI is for the purpose of law enforcement. At a meeting Thursday arranged by the Commerce Department, again asked that all destination and source requests for web traffic would be tracked and retained for up to 2 years.

This is disturbing for multiple reasons.  For one, it's a plan to track all online activity and keep it.  Personally I'd be very happy to not think that all of my online activity is being retained for the purposes of some future fishing expedition by a law enforcement agency.  There's precious little enough privacy on the Internet as it is (certainly my activity is already being tracked for a number of baldly commercial reasons, and I'm less than thrilled about that as well).  But this plan would keep all of the online activity of everyone purely for the sake of keeping it, whether there was any suspicious activity involved or not.

Additionally this will impose a severe technical and economic burden on ISP's.  I have a personal stake here, as I run a small web hosting company.  If I need to track this (admittedly unclear) set of information and retain it for up to two years, that's a LOT of data.  Some of which I currently don't even track.  It's unclear if the FBI would be requesting merely tracking which web site was visited by which IP address, or if they really want to know which URL's on a particular site are being visited. If the requirement will be to keep track by URL, this means we would be tracking all sorts of information that we currently don't even collect on the fly -- slowing down everyone's access, and requiring us to keep a huge amount of logging for a long period of time.  And making us raise our rates, of course. The general outcome will be a more expensive, slower, and less private Internet, in which your activity is always going to be subject to search and seizure.

No Thanks.


February 7, 2010 - 10:46am