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Silly laws breed disrespect for laws – Wi-fi logs for 2 years?

Posted by Jim Rector on February 21, 2009

I read yesterday that a bill in both the Senate and the House will compel ISP’s and wi-fi users to keep usage logs for two years. There is no distinction between public and private wi-fi’s. Which basically means that I’ll have to keep traffic logs of my home network for two years. I don’t even know if that’s technologically possible with my wireless router.

This proposal is ridiculous and unenforceable. First, the shear amount of data that would have to be parsed would probably make it harder to track child predators than it is now. Second, since it covers voice over IP (VOIP) communicate it amounts to wire tapping without a warrant. I’m sorry but when “nanny-state” legislators pass laws that are perceived as unreasonable to the average law-abiding citizens, average law-abiding citizens begin to lose respect for the rule-of-law and their governing bodies. This is one of those unreasonable proposals. I can tell you right now that I won’t comply with this silliness.

Here’s a letter that I sent to one of my Senators:

Senator Cornyn,

About S.436. Are you serious? I would expect this feel-good, unenforceable legislation from the Democrats. But come on, from so-called conservative Republicans? Did the Republicans become “Nanny state” politicians while I wasn’t paying attention.

This bill will do nothing that it’s designed to do. Due to the vast amount of data it will only make it more difficult to track down child predators. Additionally, it will put more burden, and therefore, more costs on small businesses and individuals like myself who simply have a wireless router in my home. As far as I can tell there’s absolutely no provision in my wireless router to capture logs for more than a few hours let alone two years. I don’t like it and I’m angry with you for supporting this unreasonable legislation. When the government starts making silly laws the people start losing respect for the government and their laws. This is one of those proposals. Since this could be interpreted to cover “voice over IP” telephone communications it also amounts to illegal wiretapping.

Instead of putting the burden on me for crime fighting please just punish the ones committing the crime. Please reverse your course and come down on the side of the rights of the individual to be free from obtrusive government intervention and unreasonable record keeping.

Jim Rector

We’ll see how he responds. I’ll report back when he does.


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