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Congress may consider mandatory ISP snooping: It didn't take long for the idea of forcing Internet providers to retain records of their users' activities to gain traction in the U.S. Congress Last week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a Republican, gave a speech saying that data retention by Internet service providers is an "issue that must be addressed." Child pornography investigations have been "hampered" because data may be routinely deleted, Gonzales warned.
Now, in a demonstration of bipartisan unity, a Democratic member of the Congressional Internet Caucus is preparing to introduce an amendment--perhaps during a U.S. House of Representatives floor vote next week--that would make such data deletion illegal.
Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette's proposal (click for PDF) says that any Internet service that "enables users to access content" must permanently retain records that would permit police to identify each user. The records could not be discarded until at least one year after the user's account was closed. (CNet News)
The End of the Internet? The nation's largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online.
Verizon, Comcast, Bell South and other communications giants are developing strategies that would track and store information on our every move in cyberspace in a vast data-collection and marketing system, the scope of which could rival the National Security Agency. According to white papers now being circulated in the cable, telephone and telecommunications industries, those with the deepest pockets--corporations, special-interest groups and major advertisers--would get preferred treatment. Content from these providers would have first priority on our computer and television screens, while information seen as undesirable, such as peer-to-peer communications, could be relegated to a slow lane or simply shut out.
Under the plans they are considering, all of us--from content providers to individual users--would pay more to surf online, stream videos or even send e-mail. Industry planners are mulling new subscription plans that would further limit the online experience, establishing "platinum," "gold" and "silver" levels of Internet access that would set limits on the number of downloads, media streams or even e-mail messages that could be sent or received. (The Nation)
Terrorist watch list at airports tops 1 million names The terrorist watch list was created after 9/11 to alert airport personnel to potential threats to national security. Now, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, the list has grown to over one million names.
"America's new million-record watch list is a perfect symbol for what's wrong with the administration's approach to security," said Barry Steinhardt, who heads the ACLU's technology and liberty program. "Putting a million names on a watch list is a guarantee that the list will do more harm than good by interfering with the travel of innocent people and wasting huge amounts of our limited security resources on bureaucratic wheel-spinning," (Los Angeles Times)
Kennedy has company on airline watch list A second prominent lawmaker said Friday that he's been subjected to extra security at airports because his name appears on a list designed to prevent terrorists from boarding planes (CNN)
Terrorist watch list hits 1 million Federal data show the rise comes despite the removal of 33,000 entries last year by the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center in an effort to purge the list of outdated information and remove people cleared in investigations (USA Today)
FEMA for Kids "Terrorism is the use of threat or violence to scare governments into changing their policies. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, are examples of acts of terrorism." (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
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