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June 3, 2006

Surrender Your Privacy to DoJ

"The Justice Department is asking Internet companies to keep records on the Web-surfing activities of their customers to aid law enforcement, and may propose legislation to force them to do so," reports New York Times.

America Online, Microsoft, Google, Verizon and Comcast representatives met with FBI's director, Robert S. Mueller III, and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. While the US Department of Justice didn't ask the companies to give them users' data, they want that Internet companies keep the data in a standard format and for at least two years. DoJ wants "information that could be subpoenaed through existing laws and procedures", that means data related to Web searches and e-mail exchanges.

Dave McClure, president of the U.S. Internet Industry Association, is concerned with the financial aspect: "The Department of Justice has yet to tell us what they want us to store. If they decide they want us to store everything, there isn't a storage facility in the U.S. large enough to store that." But the real problem is the ISPs: they should keep track of users' online activity and they will be much more cooperating than Google, for example.

Bush administration requests data from Google
DOJ doesn't give up on Google's data
Google to face off with DoJ over releasing data


  1. I don't mind.

    Why would I be bothered if the FBI knows I read this blog? Or if I e-mail an ex-girlfriend daily or that I get the Liza Minelli newsletter?
    I couldn't care less.

  2. From a May 18 06 Wired article: The Eternal Value of Privacy-Bruce Schneier

    The most common retort against privacy advocates -- by those in favor of ID checks, cameras, databases, data mining and other wholesale surveillance measures -- is this line: "If you aren't doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?"

    Some clever answers: "If I'm not doing anything wrong, then you have no cause to watch me." "Because the government gets to define what's wrong, and they keep changing the definition." "Because you might do something wrong with my information." My problem with quips like these -- as right as they are -- is that they accept the premise that privacy is about hiding a wrong. It's not. Privacy is an inherent human right, and a requirement for maintaining the human condition with dignity and respect.