A top House Republican is planning to propose that Internet service providers be required to store information about their customers to aid police in criminal investigations, CNET has learned.
But a recent draft has one huge exception: wireless companies aren’t included.
That appears to be the result of lobbying from wireless providers, which don’t want to have to comply with any new governmental mandates. But the exemption has already drawn the ire of the U.S. Justice Department, which says it doesn’t go far enough and is likely to attract strong opposition from cable and DSL providers that would be the ones singled out for regulation.
CTIA, the wireless trade association, declined to answer questions about its involvement in drafting the exception, saying through a spokesman only that “we are committed to working with the committee on the legislation.”
The committee preparing the bill is the House Judiciary Committee, headed by Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who has previously expressed support for mandatory requirements governing the retention of user data. The bill will be part of a larger measure dealing with strengthening criminal sanctions against child pornography.
So the guy sitting at home on the net, trolling for a child hook-up will have his records retained, but let him get out there on his cell phone and finalize the meeting – well that evidence just won’t be there. That’s your “power of the lobby”, courtesy of a government by the people for the special interest.
This bill is expected to not really go anywhere though. Smith tried the same thing in 2007 and it failed. The Bush DOJ pushed for this legislation for years and now the Obama DOJ is. Of course law enforcement already has tools to track these people down. The problem is that home networks usually aren’t secure and that can lead to innocent people getting arrested.