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    CNet: ISP data retention plan hits Capitol Hill snag

    CNet News reports on legislation concerning Internet privacy:

    Controversial legislation to require Internet providers to store logs about their customers for 18 months has run into an unexpected obstacle: a former supporter. […]

    The bill in question is H.R. 1981, which says Internet providers must store for “at least 18 months the temporarily assigned network addresses the service assigns to each account,” unless it’s a wireless provider like AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon.

    [The concerns of Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican and previous chairman of the House Judiciary committee,] are noteworthy because he has been a prominent sponsor of data retention legislation before. […]

    As CNET first reported yesterday, the National Sheriffs’ Association announced it “strongly supports” H.R. 1981. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children likes it too.

    But during today’s hearing before Sensenbrenner’s crime subcommittee, even the sponsor of H.R. 1981, current Judiciary chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) acknowledged that there were problems with the legislation.

    We want to “figure out a way so that we do not exempt wireless providers,” Smith said. That exemption apparently came about after lobbying from wireless companies, and has already drawn sharp criticism from the Justice Department. […]

    Michigan Rep. John Conyers, the Judiciary committee’s senior Democrat, said his concern about the bill is that–although it’s called the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011–the mandatory logs could be used to prosecute all sorts of crimes, not only ones dealing with child safety.

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