First they wanted your phone records, now they want your IP address.

The Bush Administration seems hell bent on making George Orwell’s 1984 a reality:

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation wants U.S. Internet providers to retain Web address records for up to two years to aid investigations into terrorism and pornography, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The request came during a May 26 meeting between U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller with top executives at companies like Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Time Warner Inc.‘s AOL.

“I think there is less of a willingness to passively go along with this type of request than there might have been a year ago,” said the source, mentioning the recent uproar over a report that telephone companies had provided call records to the National Security Agency.

A Justice Department spokesman confirmed the meeting but was not immediately available to comment on how long law enforcement officials wanted the records retained.

They’re not going to be happy until they’ve got cameras mounted right on your forehead recording everything you do all day long.

47 thoughts on “First they wanted your phone records, now they want your IP address.

  1. Wow.  All this just in the name of Security and Stabilitiy.

    My mom’s already upset with AT&T delivering Phone Records to the NSA(She switched to another phone company because of that).  She’ll be even more upset if this happens.  Makes me more embarrased to be an American.

  2. investigations into terrorism and pornography

    Uh, why pornography?  Perhaps this article was unclear and meant “child pornography” or something illegal, but last I checked regular run of the mill pr0n was perfectly within the realm of the law.  Great, first they create an “anti-obscenity squad” investigate legal pornography marketed to consenting adults.  Now they’re keeping tabs on people who view it over the internet.  Heh, they’ll have the IP addresses of 90% of internet users.

      Hmmm…one of the reasons given for diverting money and FBI officers from doing real work, like….fighting terror…to instead viewing porn material was “that adult pornography is a threat to families and children.”  Fascisms + fundamentalism = 🙁

  3. Whew. The world powers are just getting too much technological and political power. Next thing you know, one guy will get elected to yield that power world-wide (you know, to keep the peace and such). Radicals who won’t comply will be silenced. Where have a read this scenario before?

  4. Whew. The world powers are just getting too much technological and political power. Next thing you know, one guy will get elected to yield that power world-wide (you know, to keep the peace and such). Radicals who won’t comply will be silenced. Where have a read this scenario before?

    Quick!  Everyone get out your Left Behind PC games and head on over to Rapture Ready!!!!11!

  5. Maybe there’s a genetic link between pornographers and terrorists.  They do exist on the same planet after all.  Or perhaps the FBI is still in shock over having been led by a cross dressing weirdo for so many years.  No wait!!  I know!

    According to Jerry Falwell, God caused 9/11 in order to punish us for allowing gay abortionists to consume oxygen.

    Ok.  Ok.  It’s the Amish who secretly control everything from they’re underground alien base in Pennsylvania.

  6. Well now, why is it this scares a fraction of the population – the evil, the terrorist, the criminal, the child molestor, the bald?

    According to polls most Americans have no problem with this, so why do you?

    And for that commentor about Jerry Falwell – Falwell is an idiot just getting older and loosing his mind. I’m surprised you even watch him!

  7. Dog: According to polls most Americans have no problem with this, so why do you?

    Would you care to present us with such a poll? This is not a matter of “only the guilty have something to fear” for me; it is a matter of our privacy being violated with nebulous rationale. You better believe that I’ve got a problem with that. Feel free to label me what you will for harboring this attitude.

  8. If I weren’t a Christian I’d be a molotov-hurling anarchist with all this crap happening.

  9. Sadie, I am with you there.  I’d like to see one terrorist that has been busted using internet browsing logs…oh wait, that’s classified and if we knew that, we might be helping the terrorists…My bad.

    As far as the porn goes, I would guess it was not supposed to be child porn but all porn.  We’re headed straight for theocracy, and nobody should be suprised that pornography (and eventually anything that goes against what “good upstanding citizens” do) will be closely scrutinized and severely punished.  I wish I could afford to move to some place where there isn’t so much religious fervor.

  10. most Americans have no problem with this

    Just because an opinion is the popular one, does NOT mean it is the correct one. I know this is a bit of a cliche, but forgive me for one minute and let me use it. Opinion polls throughout Germany have shown that a majority of Germans thought Adolf Hitler was an effective leader. Prior to 1980, almost 90% of Americans would have supported a ban on interracial marriage. To date, a majority of Americans still believe that the United States discovered large stockpiles of WMD’s in Iraq. All of them are wrong. This is an issue of personal privacy. No one is arguing that the government WILL use this information against citizens who’ve done nothing wrong, but who is to say that they won’t? No one ever thought that in the United States you could be black-balled for believing in Communism, and yet, it happed less that 60 years ago. Granted, there are some that would argue that such a thing couldn’t happen in today’s society, well, that’s bullshit. The act itself is based off of two age-old concepts that will never die and will always force men and women to take extreme measures, fear and paranoia.

  11. I am not willing to jump on the paranoia band wagon. 
    I have no problem with this request if the data is staying in the hands of the Internet provider for instance.  The JD would have to supeona the requested records as part of the prosecution of a specific case.  Exactly how will this negatively impact the lives of your average american?  Are you simply assuming that everyone in the various federal and state justice depratements is corrupt and “out to get me”? shock

  12. I have no problem with this request if the data is staying in the hands of the Internet provider for instance.

    The JD would have to supeona the requested records as part of the prosecution of a specific case.  Exactly how will this negatively impact the lives of your average american?

    One, the data won’t stay in the hands of the ISP much the same way phone records didn’t stay in the hands of AT&T. Secondly, there was no need for a supeona as the companies themselves gladly sold the information their customers thought were private. Thirdly, this negatively affects the lives of ordinary Americans in that it is merely the first bit of ground that the government is willing to take. Simply put, never give an inch for it turns quickly into a mile.

  13. Big complaints now, but if your daughter became a victom of an Internet Predator, you would be standing in the streets, shouting for more monitoring.  It’s easy to take the position that this is an egregious offence against your privacy rights.  Privacy is fine, but not when it is used as a tool to violate other peoples rights.

  14. The issue of online predators is moot. That’s simply parental supervision and responsibility. A request for monitoring web traffic for your children’s responsibility is a bandaide on a sucking chest wound. It might cover up a little bit of blood but it does nothing for a crushed lung. This is an issue that tends to really upset me. Personally, I’m sick of parents asking the damn government to do their job for them. Example, the “V” chip, and other bits of equally useless technology that’s designed to free parents from responsibility. Or better yet, its really just an issue of plausible deniability.

  15. The issue of online predators is moot. That’s simply parental supervision and responsibility.

    I can not accept this response.  It appears to say – ‘I’m sorry your child was abused, but it’s your fault for not monitoring.  We will not attempt to find out to find out who did it, as this will invade his right to privacy.’

    A government should not routinely invade the private life.  However there must be a line where the guilty give up the right to privacy.  This must be done under proper legal supervision- the law enforcement must make a case to the judicary.  We already accept this with search warrents.

  16. I can not accept this response.

    Too bad.

    It appears to say – ‘I’m sorry your child was abused, but it’s your fault for not monitoring.

    That’s exactly what it says. You appear to say that if you can’t be bothered to educate your kids about the dangers they are exposed to and don’t monitor what they are up to, somebody else is to blame when they come to harm as a result of your own parental disinvestment.

  17. I agree with Elwed and Neodromos on this one. As a woman who is childless-by-choice, I should not have to bear any responsibility for other people’s children. Raise your own kids.

  18. Let me be clear on this. I have no problem with with a search of private records where probable cause exists. What I DO find disturbing, however, is an unauthorized search of materials in which one has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Let me be frank. I work as a military police officer in the United States Navy. Technically, my official designation is Master-at-Arms/Seaman. I have worked a number of cases where we have sought command authorization for searches and seizures, but we are honorable men and women. We honor the constitutional rights granted us as citizens of the United States. I would never conduct an illegal search nor would I recommend another Law Enforcement Official to do so. We exist to protect and serve those under our charge, not to blindly take orders from our Commander-in-Chief which any reasonable and prudent person would believe to be illegal. As for the parenting issue, the expected date of delivery of my first child is the 5th of December so I do worry about the dangers associated with a lack of monitoring. That, however, is where I step in as a parent. A parent is not simply a teacher and mentor to their child, but their guardian. A parent is meant to be the sea wall between their child and the flood of all that is wrong with the world, including those who would seek to use and abuse a child for sexual gratification. Our government and our justice system serves to punish those who step outside the bounds of what is permissible and if possible, prevent these behaviors, but there is a fine line between what the government has the ability to do, and what is SHOULD do. This is an issue that dances along that line. Yes, I agree that government has a responsibility to serve the people by instituting a system of justice and preventing crime if possible. I, however, do not agree that government should take on the role as parent to our children.

  19. This is an issue that dances along that line. Yes, I agree that government has a responsibility to serve the people by instituting a system of justice and preventing crime if possible. I, however, do not agree that government should take on the role as parent to our children.

    Very nicely put, Neodromos, and I’m grateful our military has people like you serving us.  And congratulations on your coming kid- all the best.  Being a parent changes your world in ways you cannot imagine.

  20. I do not expect the government to parent every child.  It is the parents responsibility to educate and protect. But it is also society’s. Are humans a society.  A society is more than a bunch of humans living in close proximity.  It implies a group of interdependent individuals relying on each other.  As a child grows you loosen the reigns.  If any one of you says you monitor your 11 year old 24/7 I have only one thing to say to you.

    Liar.

    You can’t.  No parent can follow their child to the park, watch every activity on line.  You educate. You set rules.  But if your child takes a what you reasonably believe to be a short walk round the corner to a friend’s house and is attacked, then do we expect the response to be you fault.

    If so…

    do not at any poit call 911.  You fucked up by failing to plan.  You sort it out.  Or does anyone here actually believe that ‘She was asking for it’ is ever a valid defence in a rape case?

    As a woman who is childless-by-choice, I should not have to bear any responsibility for other people’s children. Raise your own kids.

      The taxes we pay are keeping our parents generation in retirement.  Our parents kept theirs.  Its unlikely that anyone can afford the education of a child on their own. BUT society benefits from educating children.  They will pay for your old age.  They will invent things to ease your life.  They will bring revenue into your country.  Uneducated country=no industry.  You are not paying for other peoples children, you are investing into you future.

  21. LH, I partially agree with your last paragraph. I am willing through taxation to invest in the future of the country to some extent (i.e. education). But as far as parenting people’s children (as in feeling responsible for their safety) or actually caring about them personally goes, well, the parents are on their own. Will I intervene to save a helpless child from an out-of-control vehicle? Of course. But will I allow the government to restrict my liberties in the name of “the children?” Not a chance.

    I disagree strongly with the old axiom that it takes a village to raise a child. I guess this is one issue where I display some strong libertarian colors.

  22. As a child grows you loosen the reigns.

    And if you taught your kids well enough, there’s no problem with that.

    If any one of you says you monitor your 11 year old 24/7 I have only one thing to say to you.

    Liar.

    You make a very confused argument. Is it your contention that a surveillance state capable of averting crimes of opportunity is possible and desirable? Or is your contention that surveillance of the general population must be increased to a level that allows for the apprehension of any perpetrator of any crime at all – after the fact? Do you expect the state to track the well-being of your children in real-time where you can not?

    We can agree up to the point of preparing children for the dangerous world out there and gradually let them make their own experiences, good or bad.

  23. I disagree strongly with the old axiom that it takes a village to raise a child.

    Unfortunately evolution and anthropology are against you. We see co-operative behavior amoung many family style animal communities.  Human communities with a strong social spirit function better, with less crime (although they can seem insular).  Children and young people benefit from a ‘community parenting’- they become more rounded, and become exposed to different influences.  In many cultures that never had contact this is a common occurence- often children would be sent to live with other people for a couple of years, sometimes different tribes.  Some, like the Vikings, used a hostage trade- you have my son, I have yours, no one fights- but these trades were recognised for their importance in culture.

    Stephen Biddulph in ‘raising boys’ gives examples of how with young men (10-15) this is particularly important.  They need to get older male friends to teach them how to be men.  Societies around the world tend to pick this time, puberty, as the time when people are put in the wider world.  Up to then the village women raise the children. 

    Remember that humans evolved with a birth rate of many more children than today.  A mother can’t be everywhere, but the mothers collective can.

    A society is a group of individuals working for the common good.  It relies on individuals playing their part (ie raisng good kids), but the pay off is that the collective plays its part. 

    The military is a very good example.  Why the hell should anyone die for an abstract concept like a country- its just lines on a map- what has someone 100 miles away done for you.  Unless the enemy is a Hitler, it makes little difference who runs the show.  But still people die for the common good- they give their todays for all our tomorrows.  It is behoven on society that the cause they die for is just.

    Governments are the representatives- or at least should be.  They should not spy unnessecarily, but this thread contains people against the proposal at the top, but accepting privacy is not an absolute.  It can not be while there is any concept of society.  But the representatives should be servants, and their breaches of privacy are honours confered by society, not rights to be used against it.

  24. sorry to double- elwed got in while i was typing.  I DO NOT EXPECT Govt to baby sit. I do expect to be protected by the wider society, and I have a duty back to the society to help protect those in it. However I feel that those who willingly and knowingly harm society forfit the rights and boons that society brings.  If I do not break the law, the law enforcers should not track me.  If I break the law, then those appointed as societies guardians take priority.  My humanity says we dont lynch such people though- we try to reform and make them useful to society.

    From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

    THIS IS NOT A SLACKERS CHARTER- with rights come responsibilities.

  25. LH: Unfortunately evolution and anthropology are against you.

    Historically, yes. Luckily nowadays many of us live in societies where we have more freedom. That’s one good thing to come of an atomized society, I’d say.

  26. I disagree strongly with the old axiom that it takes a village to raise a child.

    I strongly agree with it. Problem is, these villages don’t exist anymore and we have to make do with lame-ass substitutes, like suggestions of having the state do what the village once did.

    Sadie, if you ever become a parent, you will become acutely aware of the lack of the proverbial village and the support network that comes with it. It may seem counterintuitive, but caring for more kids than your own actually makes things easier on you.

  27. LH: If I do not break the law, the law enforcers should not track me.

    If you agree that there is a presumption of innocence, then you can’t agree to such record keeping. What it boils down to is that there is a tradeoff between privacy, personal rights, personal freedoms, and safety. What remains to be shown is that sacrificing any one benefits the others.

    My humanity says we dont lynch such people though- we try to reform and make them useful to society.

    I disagree. We don’t lynch nearly enough people needing lynching and we do a piss-poor job of reforming the rest.

  28. LH: My humanity says we dont lynch such people though- we try to reform and make them useful to society.

    Now that I agree with.

    Elwed: It may seem counterintuitive, but caring for more kids than your own actually makes things easier on you.

    Counterintuitive or not, I’m not sure it would be likely for me even in the extremely rare case that I ever have children. I simply don’t like kids enough.

    *Now if you all will excuse me, I’m famished. That’s a bad sign, considering how it’s just now two o’clock where I am (and I didn’t skip lunch).  long face

  29. I have caught enough “Nancy Grace” to know that there is no “Presumption of Innocence”.

    I had a close look at the news article.  It seems the US Govt is actually asking for records to be retained by the provider for 2 years.  Its not actually asking for the records.  It just wants them to be available in the future if there is a need for them in a Criminal investigation.  I think perhaps this is being blown a bit out of proportion.  Sadly, the last time i posted those sentiments around here, MrsDOF visited me with a flaming the likes of which i had never received before.

  30. SS: Luckily nowadays many of us live in societies where we have more freedom. That’s one good thing to come of an atomized society, I’d say.

    You lost me there…

    Atomized societies give you the freedom for exactly what? Not having to care for other people’s kids? Do you actually consider it beneficial to society at large that parents pretty much have to go it alone?

  31. Me.Death: Its not actually asking for the records.

    It’s not actually asking for them like it actually did not ask for AT&T’s phone logs.

  32. I have read many articles of “what you can do to protect your child” and they all miss an important pair of words:

    “Perverted scumbag”

    Or words to that effect.  Most parents are so busy protecting what they perceive as their kids’ ‘innocence’ that they fail to build in their child an appreciation of real danger.  The village is gone, and our kids need to know what can happen.  They also need to know it isn’t the cartoon bad-guy hiding in the bushes.  Usually it is somebody who has worked pretty hard to gain their trust – like the principal of a local grade school here who molested kids.

    It can’t just be a “talk” that we have with our kids.  We need to read news articles out loud.  We need to mock commercials.  We need to point out dangers to our kids.  “See that guy over by the playground?  See how he’s watching them? Something’s not right with him.”

    All previous cultures warned their kids of various dangers.  ‘Innocence’ is a Victorian concept, and one that has resulted in countless tragedies.

    Check out Protecting The Gift: Keeping children and teenagers safe (and parents sane) by Gavin DeBecker.

  33. Good old Gavin Debecker.

    One piece of advice: Don’t teach your kids to ask cops for help. They can’t tell one uniform from the other and do you really have your kids trust a mall security guard?

    Instead, teach them to ask a mother with kids for help. Mothers tend to take ownership of a problem, instead of most guys who’d be more than happy to make the rugrat the security guard’s problem.

  34. UDX: All this just in the name of Security and Stability.

    Mmmmm. SS. Where have I heard that before?

    LH: If I do not break the law, the law enforcers should not track me.

    I think we all agree on that one.

    If I break the law, then those appointed as society’s guardians take priority.

    And we all agree on that one too, but it’s the murky stuff in between that needs to be safe-guarded. The thin end of the wedge which is being proposed is what’s scary.
    Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. We all know there’s corruption in government and that bureaucracies already break existing laws. If we give them more power how far can they and will they go.
    We can all have ‘absolute’ security but the cost to us all would be ALL our rights. What price freedom?
    Like Dick Smith once said: we can have absolute air safety but then no one could afford the ticket to fly.
    As for raising children? Never had any. I’m far too selfish and irresponsible to enter into life-long contracts but, I admire those courageous enough to do so.
    I do know that you can only give a child the best information, programming and protection that you can and still, sometimes it’s not enough.
    Shit happens; luck, good and bad, plays a big part in life.

  35. This thread and the GOP election scandal thread are converging on the topic of government ocrruption so I’m posting this in both threads.  Apologies to those who didn’t want to read it the first time and are seeing it a second time. wink

    Last_Hussar:
    Good idea- NRA rebel and try and overthrow any government they don’t like.

    If the only way you can keep a check on government is armed rebellion, then this is surely the definition of a failing state.

    There can be no rebellion if there is no government. wink Nearly all of our currently elected politicians tend more towards some brand of authoritarianism than libertarianism.  There is no hope so long as this is true.  If they ask for our phone records and internet logs then what is going to stop them from discriminating beyond the realm of voter registration and voting places.  Why won’t they come straight at the opposition parties and groups?

    The government has power because we grant them the power by our obedience to follow their mandates.  If the government abuses its power it is only because we allowed them to.  Society needs to stop relying on other things to make their decisions for them whether it be elected officials or technology.  This existence is ours to live and live we should.  No more deferment.  We must take responsibility for how we allow the world to work.  Global warming and peak oil are looming fast and what will any government do about it if they are in the pockets of profit seeking gluttonous corporations?

    If we want our freedom we have only to act upon it.  We are free and nothing can stop us from acting in any way that we choose.  If we want our world to last longer than two generations it is up to us to live in less wasteful ways than we currently do.  All the environmental legislation can only do so little.  Westerners demand lives of luxury and the world is paying the price for our gluttony.

    An anarchist revolution is the only hope of a world that can reverse or significantly dampen the current state of our self-destruction.  When the multinational corporations and fascist governments can’t seek their own pleasure then it will be up to the people to create a better world.  Individual responsibility is where a better world begins.  A revolution of the compassionate and incomplacent peoples must destroy the hindrances to mankind; those structures of our own creation to bring us to “comfortable living.

  36. “Good old Gavin DeBecker… mall security guard”

    I could be mixing up the two books of his that I read but I think he did go on at length about how the rent-a-cop industry is full of cop wannabes and people with criminal records.  And I think he mentioned that thing about asking a mother with kids for help.

    Also NOT accepting help from strangers who offer it.  Any random stranger you ask is less likely to be a threat than the one who approaches you with an offer.

    But my one-sentence self-defense course is “teach your kids skepticism”

  37. Sorry for double-dipping, but this passage from an old book seems appropriate to the actual topic of the thread:

    “Most of us are uneasy about invasions of privacy: wire-tapping, interception of mail, questioning of neighbors, and other techniques of the investigator.  We are made uncomfortable by the knowledge that our dossiers are kept in official and semi-official places, where information, accurate or otherwise, is accumulated.

    Computers could well be used as super-investigators, keeping on tap a permanent record of almost anything we say or do within the field of perception of any computer or its auxillaries.  From schools, courts, license bureaus, credit agencies, employers, hotels, department stores, bureaus of taxation, newspapers, organization files, voting lists, and hundreds of other sources, a dossier could be compiled by pushing a few buttons…”
    John Perry, 1955 The Story of Standards, Funk & Wagnalls

    Nailed it.

  38. Most parents are so busy protecting what they perceive as their kids’ ‘innocence’ that they fail to build in their child an appreciation of real danger.  The village is gone, and our kids need to know what can happen.

    Nailed it again, DoF.  I might amend: the village is not gone, but it’s distributed in time and space, and its borders are increasingly permeable.  The internet has breached many borders, for good and ill.  I believe, and probably most of you other cyberspace beings believe, that it’s mostly for the good: a wonderful interweaving of thoughts, a great binding force for the Global Village.

    But new technologies, and new connections, bring new dangers.  The question is, how do we deal with these dangers?  There is a balance which must be sought, between security and freedom.  In the case of internet predators, I go along with Elwed: education is the best defense.  My kids, now 16 and 18, grew up with the internet, and somehow have managed not to be taken in by predators.

    If we want our world to last longer than two generations it is up to us to live in less wasteful ways than we currently do.  All the environmental legislation can only do so little.  Westerners demand lives of luxury and the world is paying the price for our gluttony.

    Absolutely, theo.  Too bad no one is going to descend from Heaven to help us out with the mess we’ve created- we just have to do the best we can ourselves.

  39. Good thread so far, just please, please don’t let us proceed in changing into a “Minority Report” (C)(T) sort of world just yet (not that any of us here plans to cause anyone to “die”). However, do any here wish to live in a world where any/all crimes are either solved before they happen (or at most within 1 “working” day)? Absolute law might be “good” like “heaven” to some (place where the strict observance of God’s law is without exception, if you believe in that sort of thing), but within limited chaos is the “possibility” of “freedom.” This limited chaos (not total anarchy) is linked to “justice” being “blind,” that some guilty will go free despite efforts to catch them. Apparently (and quite possibly humanly understandable – we are that fallible – we might think that we want it all to be perfect but the payment for the result may not suit) there are people who are not content with protecting 99% (and realize that yes most people in the US are untouched and safe most of the time – whether or not they “feel” safe) but will agitate that we all must give up (more and more until what’s left?) some one or more of our existing personal liberties so that that last 1% can be punished.

    For the ones touched by crime this can be unacceptable, and a difficult thing to bear – which is often why it gets so many other people involved in changes to rectify a “perceived” imbalance. But for many of the “crimes” which people do fall prey to in this country there are often (seemingly unrelated in some peoples’ views) issues (poverty is just one, and I know that argument gets a pretty bad rap even these days) which lead to the “criminal” even being aligned with the future course (sorry – destiny) of perpetrating the “crime” which some continue to misidentify and perhaps unknowingly never properly plan to address. If crime cannot happen, just how much liberty is left in the nation?

    But being perhaps a bit of a libertarian and certainly staunchly individualistic, others here will not approve of my suggesting that we not give up any more of our personal (civil?) liberties so that someone somewhere (nebulous) won’t have to “sit up nights worrying” because that “bastard” (the one who did “something” to their loved one) hasn’t been brought to “justice” yet. Regrets (I have empathy but will not surrender my reason or my rights blindly to it) that both the loved one and the individual have come to harm, but no specific regrets if the law (properly applied and followed) doesn’t always get “their man.” The “community” might be better motivated to render aid and comfort after the fact then righteous indignation and mob mentallity before the fact.

  40. Kyss: Regrets (I have empathy but will not surrender my reason or my rights blindly to it) that both the loved one and the individual have come to harm, but no specific regrets if the law (properly applied and followed) doesn’t always get “their man.

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