JURIST Sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh
Serious law. Primary sources. Global perspective.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Gonzales pushes data retention to help child pornography investigations
Jeannie Shawl at 8:32 AM ET

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] said Thursday that the failure of Internet service providers to retain user records has impeded US Justice Department investigations into child pornography and said that the department is looking into setting "reasonable" data retention standards. In a speech [text] at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Gonzales said:

The investigation and prosecution of child predators depends critically on the availability of evidence that is often in the hands of Internet service providers. This evidence will be available for us to use only if the providers retain the records for a reasonable amount of time. Unfortunately, the failure of some Internet service providers to keep records has hampered our ability to conduct investigations in this area.

As a result, I have asked the appropriate experts at the Department to examine this issue and provide me with proposed recommendations. And I am going to reach out personally to the CEOs of the leading service providers and to other industry leaders to solicit their input and assistance.

Record retention by Internet service providers consistent with the legitimate privacy rights of Americans, is an issue that must be addressed.
Under the Electronic Communication Transactional Records Act [text], ISPs are only required to keep records for 90 days if requested by the government to do so. Members of Congress, including Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) [official website] have also said they would support legislation mandating data retention [CNET report].

Earlier this year, the European Union approved [JURIST report] a controversial directive [PDF text] which requires EU member states to adopt measures to provide for the retention of citizens' phone call and Internet service data for a period of between six to 24 months. The EU measure, though intended in part to crackdown on pedophiles, is largely designed to track down terrorists and criminal gangs. CNET News has more.

Link |  | print | subscribe | RSS feeds | latest newscast | Facebook page

For more legal news check the Paper Chase Archive...


 Illinois governor signs bill expanding medical marijuana for seizures
2:31 PM ET, July 21

 Dutch prosecutors open war crimes probe into Malaysia Airlines crash
12:42 PM ET, July 21

 Bahrain files suit to suspend main opposition group
11:30 AM ET, July 21

 click for more...

Get JURIST legal news delivered daily to your e-mail!


Unprecedented Notice of Warrantless Wiretapping in a Closed Case
Ramzi Kassem
CUNY School of Law


Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.


Paper Chase welcomes comments, tips and URLs from readers. E-mail us at JURIST@jurist.org