The explosive idea of forcing Internet providers to record their customers’ online activities for future police access is gaining ground in state capitols and in Washington, D.C.
Top Bush administration officials have endorsed the concept, and some members of the U.S. Congress have said federal legislation is needed to aid law enforcement investigations into child pornography. A bill is already pending in the Colorado State Senate.
Mandatory data retention requirements worry privacy advocates because they permit police to obtain records of e-mail chatter, Web browsing or chat-room activity that normally would have been discarded after a few months. And some proposals would require providers to retain data that ordinarily never would have been kept at all (did someone say big brother ?).