A U.S. House of Representatives committee has approved a broadened ISP snooping bill to force ISPs keep logs of their customers’ activities for at least one year, reports CNET. This log would help police during investigations of cyber crime cases.
The initiative for this bill was taken by conservative Republicans after last fall’s elections. The Justice Department officials also lobbied silently for the bill. In the committee of 29 members, 19 members gave their consent for the bill. After approval of the bill, the Internet providers will have to keep information about their customers including customers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses.
The bill means keeping “a data bank of every digital act by every American” that would “let us find out where every single American visited Web sites,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, who led Democratic opposition to the bill. Criminals would easily use libraries or Internet cafes anonymously, she said, while law-abiding people would have their activities recorded.
“The bill is mislabeled,” said Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the panel. “This is not protecting children from Internet pornography. It’s creating a database for everybody in this country for a lot of other purposes.”
As per the supporters of the bill, it is something that would help law enforcement agencies in investigating cyber crimes and not approving the bill would simply mean keeping these agencies in the dark ages.