FBI chief Robert Mueller wants ISPs to track everything their customers do on the Internet, and keep those records for two years. The government plan would give the FBI access to “origin and destination information” for all users. Hey, at least they’re not doing it in secret and lying about it.
The FBI says it’s not interested in actual content; they just want to know who you are, where you’ve been and what you did while you were there. Oh, goody.
“The question at least for the bureau has been about non-content transactional data to be preserved: transmission records, non-content records…addressing, routing, signaling of the communication,” [Greg] Motta [of the FBI's digital evidence team] said. Director Mueller recognizes, he added “there’s going to be a balance of what industry can bear…He recommends origin and destination information for non-content data.”
Motta pointed to a 2006 resolution from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which called for the “retention of customer subscriber information, and source and destination information for a minimum specified reasonable period of time so that it will be available to the law enforcement community.”
Telcos are balking, at least for now, mainly because they’re worried about the resources required to keep that much data (what, you thought they were worried about your privacy?). They’ll inevitably come around, though, since the government can, you know, make them do it — and they’ve already been told they can do whatever they want with your personal data.
We assume the FBI will eventually get its way, just as the NSA did last year. Then again, if it snows a little more in DC, Congress may just shut down until spring, delaying the inevitable just a little longer.