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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Justice Department getting pissy about data retention.

"Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds." John Perry Barlow

Interesting story on CNET. The government wants records of all of your electronic communications.
Criminal investigations "are being frustrated" because no law currently exists to force Internet Providers to keep track of 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."

My question is why does the government all of a sudden have a right to all of our electronic communication? Could you imagine them passing a law that said that you had to keep every letter you had ever received? Or that the phone company had to keep a tape recording of every phone call? Without warrant or probable cause to snoop. We would be enraged. But somehow, because we have all this fancy new technology, we cede the right to privacy. Please explain. 


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