Death, Taxes….Data Retention.

by Caezar M
Summary:

We often take for granted the fact that the internet is widely avaliable everywhere and from many places and locations, we may also take advantage of the anonanymity the internet provides from time to time. but have you ever had the sneaking suspicion that you are being watched? well you are, passively anyway. every time you go online and visit a web page you are leaving a digital signature that you have been there. To that you might say “so what, IPs are not regulated, they are always changing, that could be anyone.” but the truth of this is that dynamic IPs are tied in with subscriber accounts so they might not know who you are directly, but with they can find out with relative ease. so whats in these records that your ISP is collecting? The Truth, nobody knows, it could be anything it could be as simple as the name of the website you visited and at what time or as detailed as the actual contents of your emails.  Now this wold not be so bad if we knew that they were just in storage and they could not be used against us. The truth behind that is all this data is subject to subopena and disclosure without informing the user. there have been new strides to regulate the ammount of data and the time period in which it is stored (HR 1981). unfortunately this works more towards the benefit of law enforcement.

Response:

I think this is a good article because it shows that we are never really safe anywhere we go. the fourth ammendemnt offers us protection from the law to an extent. however with vague laws encompasing data and databases it is becomming easier and easier to get information about specific users. Granted that the users in question are probobly associated with terrorism, child pornography or have violated some severe laws, the data about internet users covers everyone. as for HR 1981, it states that ISPs would have to keep data on users for 18 months and release information upon subopena. I think its great that we are able to put our technological prowess to good use but there does need to be some gaurantee to privacy.

the major road block that businesses will face is if law enforcement will be able to extract data about their users. this will drive users away from online services because the service cannot give them adequate protection from haveing their retained data or even their personal files from being searched. i think that we should be able to be informed about what kind of information about us is being kept and how it is disposed of. and as for the effort to catch terrorists and child pornographers, i think those are great too but a line has to be drawn as to whose data can be searched and taken easily by law enforcement and still ensure privacy of the public at large.

Alwx Wawro. (2011, October 11). FAQ: Will Your ISP Protect Your Privacy?. PCWorld. Retrieved October 12, 2011, from http://www.pcworld.com/printable/article/id,241591/printable.html