U.S. Bill Would Require ISPs, Home Wi-Fi Users To Keep Logs For 2 Years…. Worst, Idea, Ever!

From the “they just don’t get it” department, comes the news that American lawmakers have come up with the absolutely brilliant idea that ISPs and operators of Wi-Fi hotspots (that includes home users) need to maintain access logs for 2 years to aid in law enforcement:

“While the Internet has generated many positive changes in the way we communicate and do business, its limitless nature offers anonymity that has opened the door to criminals looking to harm innocent children,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said at a press conference on Thursday. “Keeping our children safe requires cooperation on the local, state, federal, and family level.”

To be fair, these lawmakers have good intentions. But this is just a totally craptastic idea. Why? A lot of home users don’t know how to turn on WEP or WPA encryption on their wireless routers, let along find how to turn on logging and setting a backup routine to keep years of data. And in my experience, some companies are worse than home users when it comes to this stuff. Not to mention that most consumer level routers aren’t really good at logging this info anyway. That means that if I had to comply to this law, I’d have to buy a Cisco router like this one and add in their security monitoring features. That would put me around $800 or $900 for all of that, which is a huge jump from spending $60 at Best Buy for a Linksys product.

The dudes and dudettes in congress really need to rethink this. There must be a better way to protect the public from the forces of evil.

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