Internet monitoring

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    Feb 21, 2009 9:33 PM GMT
    After taking time to read the following article pending new legislation, please comment:

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/02/20/internet.records.bill/index.html
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    Feb 21, 2009 9:44 PM GMT
    helenlovejoy.jpg
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    Feb 21, 2009 10:00 PM GMT
    Only if it really was used against child pornography. The problem is it probably won't. At the rate this thing is going. You might as well remove any form of 'private' communication on the internet and go back to snail mail.

    Companies are already doing it on employees' computers. Using software from traditional keyloggers to sophisticated snoop programs like Vericept or Spector. Your boss probably knows the password to your email and your bank account. Now the government will too, and all the things you do, from downloading illegal music to visiting porn sites can be used against you.

    And given the way politicians are seldom very tech or current culture-savvy. Things like an email joke can be misinterpreted horribly. Like how Chevron had to pay $2.2 million to settle a harassment suit filed by female employees because of an email circulated by male employees entitled: "25 reasons why beer is better than women". wtf.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CEFDB1738F931A15751C0A963958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all



  • OptimusMatt

    Posts: 1124

    Feb 21, 2009 10:13 PM GMT
    That's a LOT of data retention. Here comes a rate increase.

    Oh and the police. Better think twice before you use limewire.
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    Feb 21, 2009 10:14 PM GMT
    Sedative said Like how Chevron had to pay $2.2 million to settle a harassment suit filed by female employees because of an email circulated by male employees entitled: "25 reasons why beer is better than women". wtf.






    Hence the new Email titled "2,200,026 Reasons Why Beer is Better Than Women"
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    Feb 21, 2009 10:15 PM GMT
    lulz
  • Sparkycat

    Posts: 1064

    Feb 22, 2009 1:26 AM GMT
    It's a major invasion of privacy rights. Keeping track of everyone to catch a few sounds like a Chinese government tactic to catch dissidents. It also sounds like more of the same old Republican bullshit.
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    Feb 22, 2009 1:43 AM GMT
    Ugh, once again, people's real agenda's are disguised under "for the children" when in reality they give two shits about them.
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    Feb 22, 2009 2:27 AM GMT
    No. I am against this. It looks too much like Orwell's 1984. You don't monitor people. You monitor people once it is believed that they break the law. It is called criminal investigation.

    "Keeping our children safe requires cooperation on the local, state, federal, and family level."


    Er... no if a parent can't handle their own kid then they shouldn't be a parent. It's time that parents actually do their job and stop letting others do it for them. If children are under so much threat by using a computer then maybe they shouldn't be allowed to use one with internet access until they reach an appropriate age. It is as simple as that.
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    Feb 22, 2009 3:46 AM GMT
    That sweeps in not just public Wi-Fi access points, but password-protected ones too, and applies to individuals, small businesses, large corporations, libraries, schools, universities, and even government agencies.

    This is unrealistic. Most people can't figure out how to set the password for their wifi router. I don't see how they're expected to maintain access logs. And 2 years worth? That's a lot of data. That creates an unnecessary burden, in terms of storage and administration. Who's gonna pay for all this?

    I'm really sick of these asinine laws being proposed in the name of "protecting the children" or "fighting terrorism". It's really unfortunate that the general public doesn't realize that these are just a guise for stripping away our civil liberties, and giving more power to the ones in charge.
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    Feb 22, 2009 4:06 AM GMT
    I don't know that anyone would care to store all my visits to Realjock and Wikipedia.

    I don't think most people's Myspace records is going to in any way help the children. If they really wanted to make a dent, they'd require a driver's license number upon signup to any social networking site and integrate that with the sex offender data to keep out the trash. This is a bad excuse to monitor anything they want for any reason.
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    Feb 22, 2009 4:11 AM GMT
    Sedative saidOnly if it really was used against child pornography. The problem is it probably won't. At the rate this thing is going. You might as well remove any form of 'private' communication on the internet and go back to snail mail.
    It's not just an issue with child pornography but will include any illegal activity that utilizes Internet access. I think these kind of comments are ridiculous. The only way that law enforcement can obtain the information stored by these folks are through cooperation (unlikely) or via legal process (ie: subpeona and/or search warrant signed by a judge). What they're asking for is that the IP address assigned to the user be maintained. That information helps law enforcement to go back to the ISP provider and find out who was using the public system at a given time. If you think for a moment that users include only child predators and not terrorist or other criminals, you're sadly mistaken. Also, the idea that law enforcement has time to just randomly select times and IP address to find out your bank account or what you wrote your mother is absurd. The won't obtain that information from this source anyway.

    It's unfortunate that we all have to feel our privacy threatened by the way criminal investigations are conducted but the long and short of it is that the only way 9/11 and other acts, whether terrorist or other criminals, can be successfully investigated in today's technical world, is to find out how they communicate. In the world of the Internet and sophisticated telecommunications, it's necessary that these measure be taken under provisions of the law and oversight of the courts. The bill does not allow any level of law enforcement to randomly snoop on anyone. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes before any data is provided for investigative purposes.

    Comments related to snooping on private parties are really unnecessary. I'm not about to say that there has never been a time when someone went beyond the authority provided but that is such an infrequent occurrence. Also, those of us that don't commit criminal acts have nothing to hide anyway and no one is interested in looking at what porn you're downloading or how much your mortgage payment is.
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    Feb 22, 2009 4:13 AM GMT
    luvjunkie saidUgh, once again, people's real agenda's are disguised under "for the children" when in reality they give two shits about them.
    Check your facts before making statements like this! The only bull here is your statement. A lot of people spend a lot of energy and resources protecting children that you don't have a clue about. Go look at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, check out the Adam Walsh Act, talk to Mr. Walsh or Marc Klaas, then make that statement.
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    Feb 22, 2009 4:17 AM GMT
    Sparkycat saidIt's a major invasion of privacy rights. Keeping track of everyone to catch a few sounds like a Chinese government tactic to catch dissidents. It also sounds like more of the same old Republican bullshit.
    This sounds like the same paranoia you'd hear from people that would bitch when criminals succeed in ripping you off or causing harm to the country or it's citizens. Why is it that innocent people seem to think that everyone wants or has the time to look at what they are doing. If someone was on the Internet chatting with a 13 yr old that you know and convinced that child to board a bus and go to N California with the intent of having sexual activities, would you like law enforcement to find that out BEFORE she boarded that bus? Well, believe it or not...that's exactly what happens. Stop with the rhetoric.
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    Feb 22, 2009 4:20 AM GMT
    flex89 saidI don't know that anyone would care to store all my visits to Realjock and Wikipedia.
    Bull, this is not keeping access logs for websites this is public access to the Internet. If you go to the local Internet Cafe and sign on and access RJ, all they'll keep is that a person used a specific IP address at a specific time from that location. Unless they are looking at you for doing something, they could care less if you visited RJ or had cream and sugar in your decaf! Be real about this.
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    Feb 22, 2009 4:46 AM GMT
    It's exceedingly difficult to get useful information from internet access. If I get online behind a proxy network such as Tor, I'm completely untraceable. I'm largely anonymous even in a Starbuck's wireless hotspot because I'm already behind a proxy, and even if they get my mac address, there's little to no guarantee they can get me because they'd have to catch me in the act. Obviously, anyone with a little brains wouldn't use the same Starbuck's hotspot twice for illegal activity, and you're much safer if you just hide behind Tor from your home connection.

    This bill won't do much more than generate a shortage in data stores, and if it does lend itself to any use, it won't be for catching child molester's alone--it'll be used for monitoring anything and everything. Lord knows, they may even put it to people who visit http://www.potsmokersnet.com/ regardless of whether or not they've even committed a crime, and can be used against any individual or group of interest regardless of just cause or warrant (though I'll admit it's a bit of a stretch to say they'd monitor the internet connection at a Muslim sorority house).

    It's unnecessary, adds little value, and simply treads on our rights under the guise of being helpful.
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    Feb 22, 2009 5:01 AM GMT
    flex89 said Obviously, anyone with a little brains wouldn't use the same Starbuck's hotspot twice for illegal activity, and you're much safer if you just hide behind Tor from your home connection.
    It may be obvious to you but to make that bold statement is just irresponsible. As far as whether it's a child molester, a terrorist or someone embezzling money from a publicly help bank, does it really matter. Yes, there are ways to "annonomize" yourself to avoid detection, just like there's very good encryption available, but in most instance, criminal either don't use these methods or they get lazy, slip up and get caught.
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    Feb 22, 2009 6:16 AM GMT
    eb925guy said
    Sedative saidOnly if it really was used against child pornography. The problem is it probably won't. At the rate this thing is going. You might as well remove any form of 'private' communication on the internet and go back to snail mail.
    It's not just an issue with child pornography but will include any illegal activity that utilizes Internet access. I think these kind of comments are ridiculous. The only way that law enforcement can obtain the information stored by these folks are through cooperation (unlikely) or via legal process (ie: subpeona and/or search warrant signed by a judge). What they're asking for is that the IP address assigned to the user be maintained. That information helps law enforcement to go back to the ISP provider and find out who was using the public system at a given time. If you think for a moment that users include only child predators and not terrorist or other criminals, you're sadly mistaken. Also, the idea that law enforcement has time to just randomly select times and IP address to find out your bank account or what you wrote your mother is absurd. The won't obtain that information from this source anyway.

    It's unfortunate that we all have to feel our privacy threatened by the way criminal investigations are conducted but the long and short of it is that the only way 9/11 and other acts, whether terrorist or other criminals, can be successfully investigated in today's technical world, is to find out how they communicate. In the world of the Internet and sophisticated telecommunications, it's necessary that these measure be taken under provisions of the law and oversight of the courts. The bill does not allow any level of law enforcement to randomly snoop on anyone. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes before any data is provided for investigative purposes.

    Comments related to snooping on private parties are really unnecessary. I'm not about to say that there has never been a time when someone went beyond the authority provided but that is such an infrequent occurrence. Also, those of us that don't commit criminal acts have nothing to hide anyway and no one is interested in looking at what porn you're downloading or how much your mortgage payment is.


    Ok I do see your point. It simply tracks the users using the IP address at a specific moment. And yes, it is only maintained by the ISP and not the government as I originally read it.

    But it still doesn't quite make me comfortable, even if I'm not even American.

    Well for example, you get accused of stealing something. And you really did not do it. But then they obtain a subpoena for your records and find out that you've downloaded illegal music or sent a joke about stealing to a friend or once peeked into a KKK page just to see what it looked like.

    Would they really respect your privacy and leave it alone? Hell no, they'll use it to undermine your character and you'll be left guilty as charged for something you never did. Given that most judges are waaay too old to be up-to-date with electronic stuff, they'll take it at face value.

    Moreover, when it comes to legality. Do you know that simply burning music files into CD's (like mixtapes in the old days), is a copyright infringement offense? In some cases, downloading it into your ipod is too.
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    Feb 22, 2009 6:26 AM GMT
    Sedative said
    Well for example, you get accused of stealing something. And you really did not do it. But then they obtain a subpoena for your records and find out that you've downloaded illegal music or sent a joke about stealing to a friend or once peeked into a KKK page just to see what it looked like.


    And if you share a computer or let someone use it then you could be held responsible for whatever they do.
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    Feb 22, 2009 6:36 AM GMT
    While agnostic technology can be used for good, evil or otherwise, that's no excuse for laying out a huge dragnet that captures all of the guppies when all you really want are the shark fins. I think flex89's idea about requiring a DL on social networking sites makes a whole lot more sense than forcing ISPs, businesses and invididuals to involuntarily become a de facto government data warehouse. Sure, providers may capture just an IP address at a given date and time, but that IP address can be used as a primary key to query server logs, which correlates a whole lot more data with that IP address than you might imagine.

    Always be skeptical of government's 'good intentions' when it comes to privacy invasions. Sure, they'll catch some truly bad guys along the way, but given all that's happened over the last 8 or 9 years, you've got to be truly naive to think that big guv would or could resist the temptation to mine this data to find the politically non-conforming.
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    Feb 22, 2009 6:51 AM GMT
    And P.S. why is 9/11 always dragged into discussions like this? Does it still remain the number one 'fear motivator' for initiating questionable massive government intrusions like this one?
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    Feb 22, 2009 6:56 AM GMT
    Anyone with have a brain knows how to defeat snooping with encryption and ip hopping via things like the tor network http://www.torproject.org/ or a variety of commercial products that do the same thing. Encrypted messages are easy to send via PGP and the like. Anyone halfway technical or even that knows someone that knows much can skip around the non-sense in a New York Minute.

    I remember when they started the school fingerprinting, in the name of protecting the children. I remember being forced to watch "Refer Madness." I remember government all the sudden making AAS illegal despite the fact that 40 years of research and not a single government agency supported it.

    Every day, all day long, my servers get banged on my folks in China and North Korea because they want to visit "unapproved sites", like the free press. I've written iptables stuff that throttles them after three bogus attempts, but, it goes on all day every day.

    It's like gun control laws, sodomy laws, and laws on pot. Folks are going to own guns, if they want them; fuck up the ass if they want; and smoke some reefer, too.

    The monitoring just force ways around the technology but, believe me when I say this, if you want to get around it, it's a simple a downloading Tor.

    I personally find fat folk repulsive but should we monitor fat-folks sites and make them unapproved? Of course not.

    Some gays gays like to act like women but, they aren't sex offenders, when they go visit a tranny site? Will that be in the state approved list?

    I forsee a day, because the technology has been with us for years now, where we all receive embedded RFID tags at birth that track our every move.

    Decisions about the public good, privacy, and social responsibility are always hard.

    There is value added, however, in all that snooping: it creates jobs to collect, warehouse, and sift through all those mounds of information, and that information is invaluable from a marketing perspective.

    With cell phone companies, unless you opt out, your calling information is sold to marketers all the time. You must specifically opt out in the case of the wireless carriers and land line, too. Ironically, just last week Comcast LOST a case where they would be allowed to go to an opt out on your tv viewing information. They screamed foul that the wireless carriers had opt out but the cable companies are faced with opt in (they can't sell your viewing and browser information without your permission).

    For those not in the know, text messages (SMS/MMS) are retained, by law, under The Homeland Security Act for a minimum of two years. Voice mail, however, is not subject to those regulations, although there is a push for that, too. Email, in many instances, is required to be retained for as much as SEVEN years.

    Like pot control, gun control, prohibition, etc....it's more about the control, or false attempt at it, than actually getting it.

    Folks who want guns get guns.
    Folks who want pot get it.
    Folks who want butt fucking get it.
    Folks who want secure communications get it.

    I think our country has gone way to far to the right, with fear tactics that prey on the ignorant and believers of false belief systems.

    These laws do little for the public good.

    While I don't support really weird folks, I think it's wrong, impractical, and a wasted effort to sift through The Internet.

    What it gets down to is who gets to be in charge of what is "state approved."
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    Feb 22, 2009 7:01 AM GMT
    These types of laws are created to make everyone guilty when/if needed. Let's say the police got an anonymous tip that you're dealing drugs out of your house. The cops get a warrant, search your house, but don't find any drugs. They're not going to leave empty handed and look like a bunch of chumps for raiding the wrong house. They're going to look for other stuff to bust you with.

    So they check the logs on your internet router. Hmm.. The log on your router looks corrupted. They're going to assume you did it intentionally because you're trying to hide your internet activity. Even if you didn't do it intentionally, you're violating the law because it's your responsibility to maintain these logs. So now they have a reason to charge you with a crime.

    People should stop with the "I'm an honest citizen, and I have nothing to hide" mentality. Unless you're familiar with every single law in existence, a cop can follow you around all day and find something to cite/arrest you for.

    I'm not part of the tin foil hat crowd, but I do think we need to question our government once in a while. Otherwise, the future is gonna look a lot like this..

    050612smthx1138exmn4.jpg
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    Feb 22, 2009 7:09 AM GMT
    Sedative saidAnd P.S. why is 9/11 always dragged into discussions like this? Does it still remain the number one 'fear motivator' for initiating questionable massive government intrusions like this one?

    Yes. The fight against terrorism and child pornography are sure fire ways to get laws passed.

    Politicians support such laws because not supporting would mean they are in favor of terrorism and child pornography.

    So yeah, politicians are dumb and the constituents they serve are even dumber.
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    Feb 22, 2009 7:57 AM GMT
    eb925guy said
    luvjunkie saidUgh, once again, people's real agenda's are disguised under "for the children" when in reality they give two shits about them.
    Check your facts before making statements like this! The only bull here is your statement. A lot of people spend a lot of energy and resources protecting children that you don't have a clue about. Go look at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, check out the Adam Walsh Act, talk to Mr. Walsh or Marc Klaas, then make that statement.


    Dude obviously you're too narrow-sighted for your own good, just like half the parents in America. What I was referring to are people who use children as scapegoats to get laws passed for ulterior motives. Laws like this are bogus in that they are a blatant invasion of privacy, and will be used exactly as xrichx said, to bust you on insignificant charges. There are laws that have been passed to supposedly help police catch pedophiles when in reality they're used to try to catch gay guys trying to hookup with underage kids. So nice to know that instead of them trying to catch the real perverts that police feel it more important to set up a sting on gay.com. I'm not saying there aren't people out there trying to help children, but my point is this whole "for the children" ploy is stupid. Why should I have to go out of my way to log every little thing that I do because some parent who is too fucking lazy to take care of their kids is scared of a pedophile? What I'd like to see are more laws that targets the parents, just like the offender, in that they were reckless and not taking the necessary steps in protecting their kids who they seem to think I care about. Parents in this country need to stop trying to "kiddy-proof" America and take some responsibility! Instead I see their little tax-write-offs and abortions-that-never-were running around movie theatres and malls at 10 at night! Americans need to wake up and tell parents if you want your kids protected then step in and raise them!