Big Eye, Big Ear... Big Databank?
The U.S. Department of Justice is quietly shopping around the explosive idea of requiring Internet service providers to retain records of their customers' online activities.
Data retention rules could permit police to obtain records of e-mail chatter, Web browsing or chat-room activity months after Internet providers ordinarily would have deleted the logs--that is, if logs were ever kept in the first place. No U.S. law currently mandates that such logs be kept.
In theory, at least, data retention could permit successful criminal and terrorism prosecutions that otherwise would have failed because of insufficient evidence. But privacy worries and questions about the practicality of assembling massive databases of customer behavior have caused a similar proposal to stall in Europe and could engender stiff opposition domestically.
Damn it all. Do you even REMEMBER the Constitution, Mr. Bush? Repeat after me, in case you forgot:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. "
Get it? Got it? Good. Then take your gods-be-damned Patriot Act and all others of its ilk, roll them up like a broomhandle, sit on them, and spin. Perhaps some friction will teach you something, seeing as how your tender ass has been protected from it for the entirety of your occupation of the White House.