Feds pressuring Internet companies to track you

What will they think of next? In a closed door meeting last week, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller put pressure on Internet service providers to retain records of their customers' online activities for two years. That means the feds want your ISP to hang onto a copy of what you've been doing -- which could mean your emails (sent and received), records of the websites you've visited, information about what you've downloaded -- every packet sent or received, just in case they need it for a criminal investigation.

What kind of investigation? Take your pick: child pornography, music downloads or terrorism are the usual suspects whipped out for making new Big Brother requirements; in this case, it's the child porn.

In a speech last month at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Gonzales said that Internet providers must retain records for a "reasonable amount of time."


During Friday's meeting, Justice Department officials passed around pixellated (that is, slightly obscured) photographs of child pornography to emphasize the lurid nature of the crimes police are trying to prevent, according to one source.

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