Heartland Institute Comments on Data Retention ‘Spy’ Bill in Congress

Published July 29, 2011

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would require Internet service providers to keep records of their customers’ online activities for one year, and hand them over to police upon request.

The following statement by Bruce Edward Walker, managing editor of InfoTech & Telecom News and research fellow for technology policy at The Heartland Institute, may be used for attribution. For additional comments, see the contact information below or contact Tammy Nash at [email protected] and 312/377-4000.

“Once again, our nation’s legislators display their infinite capacity for burdensome regulations that default to ‘the ends justify the means’ principles, which always lead to the erosion of individual rights provided by the Fourth Amendment’s protections against illegal searches and seizures.

“Under cover of protecting children from sexual exploitation, the House panel has cast a wide net that grants powers to law enforcement agencies to demand personal information collected by ISPs. If enacted into law, it won’t be long before cops and attorneys abuse this new far-reaching power to spy on Internet use by spouses, children, personal enemies, and anyone else they desire.”

Bruce Edward Walker
Managing Editor, InfoTech & Telecom News
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.