Friday, January 28, 2011

ISP Data Retention Doesn't Aid Crime Prosecution

Matthew J. Schwartz writes on InformationWeek:

Should Internet service providers be required to retain more data transferred over their networks to aid law enforcement investigations?

That was the precise request made Tuesday by a senior Department of Justice official at a House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security hearing.

But according to a new study from German privacy rights group AK Vorrat, based on an analysis of crime data from Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (known in Germany as the BKA), "data retention, while in force, did not make the prosecution of serious crime any more effective."

When it comes to securing, regulating, or policing the Internet, the report highlights that while some common-sense approaches -- such as data retention, or mandating that service providers block child pornography sites outright -- may look good on paper, in practice such restrictions may be ineffective or even produce unintended results.

More here.


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