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FBI wants two-year website visitor log retention

Two-year log on website usage - surely that's just two years of looking at
Two-year log on website usage - surely that's just two years of looking at

The FBI wants ISPs to keep information for two years on what sites users visit.

The agency believes this action could help in the investigation of crimes, including child pornography.

For the last four years, FBI director Robert Mueller has been advocating that ISPs retain this data, including "origin and destination information," and two years ago asked Congress to make it into law, stating: "From the perspective of an investigator, having that backlog of records would be tremendously important if someone comes up on your screen now.

"If those records are only kept 15 days or 30 days, you may lose the information you may need to bring that person to justice."

However, it was only at a meeting of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group (OSTWG) that Greg Motta, the chief of the FBI's digital evidence section, came up with the two-year figure. The OSTWG is "tasked with evaluating industry efforts to promote a safe online environment for children."

What they don't want

Motto emphasised that the FBI wasn't asking for retention of data content. He said: "The question at least for the bureau has been about non-content transactional data to be preserved: transmission records, non-content records...addressing, routing, signalling of the communication."

Implementing all this would be a mammoth task, and the FBI hasn't yet been specific in stating what how much information it wants.

But the chances are the Big Brother will soon be watching your online activity.