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The FBI Wants to Know Where You are Online

An article posted yesterday on CNET has Internet users bashing the FBI up one side – and down the other. Many are screaming about “Big Brother”, and civil rights. Others are proclaiming that they are going to leave the Internet completely, which I honestly don’t see happening. Seriously, folks… you’d be able to totally give up your online life?

According to the article, the FBI is pressing Internet service providers to record which Web sites customers visit and retain those logs for two years, a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography and other serious crimes. If logs of Web sites visited began to be kept, they would be available only to local, state, and federal police with legal authorization such as a subpoena or search warrant.

It’s unclear what, exactly, the FBI wants to keep track of. The possibilities include requiring an Internet provider to log the Internet protocol (IP) address of a Web site visited, a domain name, a host name, or an actual website URL. While the first three categories could be logged without doing deep packet inspection, the fourth category would require it. That could run up against opposition in Congress.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you feel the FBI has the right to require ISPs to keep such information? Also, do they have the right to OUR information in this manner? There are many excellent things being posted online, such as this story, on a daily basis – some of it right here in our own community!

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