I just read an article about a bill that has just been approved by a committee in the House of Representatives. If the bill passes, it would mandate that Internet service providers (ISPs) store detailed Internet history (including personal and financial information) of all users for a year. In theory, I think I would actually be ok with Internet history being stored, because I can see how that kind of information would be extremely helpful in preventing and prosecuting crime. However, it’s not a perfect world and I have a few concerns about this bill:
- The ISPs may use this data improperly.
- The ISPs may not keep this data secure. The wealth of data the ISPs would store would make it a prime target for identity thieves and other mischievous hackers (LulzSec, anyone?).
- As was mentioned in the article, criminals could just go to public or commercial venues and use the Internet anonymously there.
- The name of the bill. Quote from the article: “To make it politically difficult to oppose, proponents of the data retention requirements dubbed the bill the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011.” /facepalm