Here’s Something to Get Wired Up About

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In the latest saga of the never-ending marriage of big business and big government, the Fascist Bureau of Investigation wants internet service providers to keep the records of all websites visited by all of their customers for two years.

As usual, one of the reasons is: “…a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography…” Ah, yes—it’s always about protecting the children. As I’ve written before, “protecting children” is “the last refuge of a scoundrel” for the 21st century. But there is good news: “…the bureau was not asking that content data, such as the text of e-mail messages, be retained.” Not asking yet. Eventually, that request too shall come to pass. An executive at Verizon said, “if you were do to deep packet inspection to see all the URLs, you would arguably violate the Wiretap Act.” But when did violating its own laws ever stop the gunvernment from doing what it wants?

By the way, the idea of the gunvernment requiring the storage of communications records of customers is not new. There is already a 1986 law in place that requires phone companies to keep certain customer phone records for 18 months—the perfect precedent for this new Orwellian scheme being proposed by the FBI.

[Thanks to Travis Holte]

10:27 am on February 6, 2010