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FBI calls for two year retention for ISP data

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FBI director Robert Mueller is still keen to get US internet service providers to keep their customers' web logs for up to two years.

What is not clear is whether the director is talking about which websites are visited or the specific URL - which would require deep packet inspection and probably break US wiretap laws.

Greg Motta, boss of the FBI digital evidence section, said his director wanted "origin and destination information for non-content data", according to CNet.

Motta said the Feds simply want to keep powers they already have - since 1986 phone companies have been obliged to keep records of who makes calls, who they call, when they call and how long the call lasts. It's just that now, the Feds want to explicity include web activity as well. He said the FBI did not want to store the actual content of calls or emails.

Motta was speaking to the Online Safety and Technology Working Group.

It is not clear exactly what the Feds want; logging IP numbers or web hosts would be relatively simple for an ISP, while keeping track of exact URLs would be harder and more expensive.

The proposals will sound familiar to anyone familiar with the UK's Communications Capabilities Directorate - responsible for what was formerly known as the interception modernisation program. The UK approach has also sought to preserve existing spook powers, by extending them to cover any new comms capability that comes onto the market.®

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