There is a move afoot in the U.S. government to require Internet service providers to keep tabs on their customers.
Criminal investigations "are being frustrated" because no law currently exists toof what their customers are doing, the U.S. Department of Justice told Congress. The department's position on mandatory data retention says Congress should strike a "more appropriate balance" between privacy and police concerns.
"Data retention is fundamental to the department's work in investigating and prosecuting almost every type of crime," said Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division. "The problem of investigations being stymied by a lack of data retention is growing worse."
However, members offor suggesting a new law requiring Internet companies to keep records of user activity, but not disclosing details on how it should be crafted to aid criminal investigations.
"When are you going to get a specific proposal?" said Rep. John Conyers, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary committee, apparently recalling that mandatory data retention proposals have been circulating since 2005. "How many years is this going to take?"
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