Moral Outrage
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All Web Surfing to be Tracked?

The US Justice Department wants Internet service providers and cell phone companies to be required to hold on to records for longer to help with criminal prosecutions.

“Data retention is fundamental to the department’s work in investigating and prosecuting almost every type of crime,” US deputy assistant attorney general Jason Weinstein told a congressional subcommittee.

The justice official said greater data retention requirements raise legitimate privacy concerns but “any privacy concerns about data retention should be balanced against the needs of law enforcement to keep the public safe.”

John Morris, general counsel at the non-profit Center for Democracy & Technology, said mandatory data retention “raises serious privacy and free speech concerns.”

“Mandatory data retention laws would require companies to maintain large databases of subscribers’ personal information, which would be vulnerable to hackers, accidental disclosure, and government or other third party access.”

Kate Dean, executive director of the Internet Service Provider Association, said they would require “an entire industry to retain billions of discrete electronic records due to the possibility that a tiny percentage of them might contain evidence related to a crime. We think that it is important to weigh that potential value against the impact on the millions of innocent Internet users’ privacy.”

[Raw Story]

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