Magazine article Information Management

Lawmakers Propose Internet Safety Act

Magazine article Information Management

Lawmakers Propose Internet Safety Act

Article excerpt

Republican lawmakers want to enact a broad new federal law that would require all Internet service providers (ISPs) and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points to retain user records for two years to aid in police investigations.

The legislation, which echoes the European Union's controversial Data Retention Directive, would mandate data retention requirements for most ISPs and is certain to raise protests from businesses and privacy advocates.

Senate Bill 436 and House Bill 1076 were introduced in February. Both are titled "Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today's Youth Act," or the Internet Safety Act.

And both include the same language: "A provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service shall retain for a period of at least two years all records or other information pertaining to the identity of a user of a temporarily assigned network address the service assigns to that user."

According to a CNet report, that means the proposed law would apply not only to providers such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, but also to individuals, small businesses, large corporations, libraries, schools, universities, and even government agencies with Wi-Fi access points or wired routers that use the standard method of dynamically assigning temporary addresses, called Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Experts say the law would cover every employer that uses DHCP for its network. …

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