Police ask Congress to require mandatory text message logging, keep texts for 2 years

Police ask Congress to require wireless providers to keep text messages for two years.

@tracehagan
Published Mon, Dec 3 2012 7:07 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:25 PM CST

The police have asked that Congress consider adding a requirement that wireless service providers keep copies of text messages for two years. Because, after all, you never know when you may need to data mine them during a future criminal investigation. There are a few problems with a requirement of this length, however.

Police ask Congress to require mandatory text message logging, keep texts for 2 years | TweakTown.com

Consider, for a moment, the sheer number of text messages sent every single day. Got a number? 6 billion. Last year more than 2 TRILLION messages were sent, so storing that many text messages would take up a huge amount of storage. Carriers would be required to save text messages for two years, so they would be storing upwards of 4 trillion text messages.

That would be roughly 500 terabytes of data storage. Not an unheard of amount, but certainly a burden on a company. The police would like this new requirement to be added into an update of a 1986 privacy law that is currently being discussed. A new draft of the bill sees it being updated for the cloud computing era with a requirement that police obtain a warrant to read e-mails.

"These data retention policies serve one purpose: to require companies to keep databases on their customers so law enforcement can fish for evidence," Hanni Fakhoury, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said. "And this would seem to be done against the wishes of the providers, presumably, since...some of the providers don't keep SMS messages at all."

NEWS SOURCE:news.cnet.com

Trace is a starving college student studying Computer Science. He has a love of the English language and an addiction for new technology and speculation. When he's not writing, studying, or going to class, he can be found on the soccer pitch, both playing and coaching, or on the mountain snowboarding.

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