Invoking terrorism threats and child porn, the Department of Justice is back on the data retention warpath, this time proposing that websites must keep records of who uploads photographs or videos. Last week, the DoJ held a private meeting (with no written proposals) to persuade internet industry executives — like AOL and Comcast — to keep records on users for at least two years, asking the businesses what it would cost them to implement data retention practices. There are a lot of scary aspects to this, like the possibility that photo-sharing and video-sharing site users wouldn’t even know they were being spied on. And let’s not forget that if push comes to shove, finding a web-savvy judge is not something anyone can count on, such as in the current Julie Amero case. McCarthy meets 2.0. Snip from Justice Department takes aim at image-sharing sites:
The Bush administration has accelerated its Internet surveillance push by proposing that Web sites must keep records of who uploads photographs or videos in case police determine the content is illegal and choose to investigate, CNET News.com has learned.
That proposal surfaced Wednesday in a private meeting during which U.S. Department of Justice officials, including Assistant Attorney General Rachel Brand, tried to convince industry representatives such as AOL and Comcast that data retention would be valuable in investigating terrorism, child pornography and other crimes. The discussions were described to News.com by several people who attended the meeting.
A second purpose of the meeting in Washington, D.C., according to the sources, was to ask Internet service providers how much it would cost to record details on their subscribers for two years. At the very least, the companies would be required to keep logs for police of which customer is assigned a specific Internet address.