Data Retention laws on the uprise

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 18, 2006
Updated • May 16, 2013

Well what do we have here? FBI director Robert Mueller wants that service providers record their customers online activities with the same lame excuses that men like him come always up with: Protecting minors and terrorism. Let me get something straight here. Terrorists are not uneducated, they know how to build explosives, they know how to work with computers. They especially now about encryption and how to protect their communication from third parties.

This of course leads to the question what Mr. Mueller wants to achieve by storing every single IP connection of every single individual that uses an ISP in the United States? Is not the whole thing a complete waste of resources and time compared to the minimal gain? What about the protection of minors then, this should be a valid point, don't you think?

You can only record something that is happening in the very moment. You then need to analyze the data and come to a conclusion. Does this help the minor before the lawbreaking takes place? Not very likely, don't you think? This could only work if someone knows where to look at in this incredible heap of data. This leads of course to the fact that the data can only be used to find out what happened. Yes, that is past tense.

The crime already happened. No way to prevent it this way.

The European Union already launched a data retention law that forces every ISP to record online activities of their customers and store the records between 6 and 24 months. The reason was again to fight terrorism.

What you can use the information for, basically, is to come up with connections so that you may uncover additional parties that took part in a crime or terrorist attack.

Now some politicians hold speeches where they want to use those information for finding out about other crimes as well, not only terrorism related ones. You've downloaded a song from emule? You went to a website that is forbidden in the country you are living in? Music Industry would love to have the opportunity to search the data for people who traded music over the internet.

I just want to say that I'm against crime on the internet, against terrorism, against the abuse of minors and many other things on the internet and in the real world. But I'm also against stupid laws by politicians who do not understand the concept of the internet and try to justify anything that removes rights from people with the word terrorism.

Your privacy is at stake here. Fight for it, with everything that you have.

The most interesting fact about those laws? Guess who is paying for them.. Yeah right, you are..


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