March 10, 2007

Newly Revealed FBI Data Abuses and the Data Retention Red Flag

Greetings. The release of a new report detailing massive FBI abuses of the PATRIOT Act (particularly in regard to National Security Letters), now confirms concerns that I and others have been long expressing about the potential abuse of retained Internet and other data, e.g.:

Sounding the Alarm on Government-Mandated Data Retention

An Open Letter to Google: Concepts for a Google Privacy Initiative

Broad abuses of retained data are now demonstrated to be real, not theoretical, as described in this Washington Post story.

We don't yet really know the full extent of these violations, but what has already been revealed is bad enough as a starting point.

I hope that these events will not only trigger considerable soul-searching by those firms who voluntarily retain user activity data, but also cause a renewed recognition of how broad mandated data retention can facilitate, and inevitably will facilitate, such abuses in the future.


Posted by Lauren at March 10, 2007 08:37 AM | Permalink
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