How will the Internet Safety Act affect wi-fi?

Posted: March 18, 2009 in Posts

CNET recently covered the broad sweep of the Internet Safety Act – exactly how open are these guidelines to interpretation?

We’ve heard questions of whether the record keeping requirements will apply to every wi-fi network (think: coffee shops, office buildings, public places, even home networks). Some interpretations suggest that the Internet Safety Act would require keeping 2 years of records data on anyone who accesses a given network – anyone providing “an electronic communication service or remote computing service.” This might be not just public hotspots, but password-protected ones, individuals, small businesses, large corporations, libraries, schools, universities, government agencies …

This seems to pose some major privacy and technical challenges. We’d be interested to know if anyone has any insights on this… how will lawmakers address these challenges, and is this bill realistic to begin with?

  1. This proposed law was obviously written by someone who is not technologically aware. It wants everyone who dynamically assigns IP addresses to keep a record of them for two years. 99% of the DHCP servers cannot do this.

    This law would kill public Internet access, not just public WiFi access. It would force homes and businesses to purchase new routers or DHCP servers. It would force all networks to spend a lot of money for setup because the average user cannot manage this.

    I would just manually assign addresses to my client’s computers and eliminate the record keeping.

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