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Mandatory Data Retention in the United States in 2019

Retaining or storing data of an individual or organization for several collective reasons is known as data retention. Data retention is done due to the rules and regulations imposed by the State or government. Secondly, with this practice, the organization is capable to recover its lost data in case of any natural calamity like flood, earthquake or fire. The data retention laws are different for every country. But all these laws are designed to achieve the same goals and objectives.

Customary Laws:

In the USA there are not any obligatory data retention laws. But according to the Stored Communication Act which was passed as part of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act in 1986, if any suppliers of electronic communication or any other computing services stores the communication records then the government is able to get access to stored data. Under this act, if the government request the ISP then the user’s data might get preserved for 180 days.

Under this act, if an emergency occurs where if a delay in data disclosure might risk the life of a person so, the internet providers are permitted to reveal the data to the government officials. In this scenario, court orders are required for obliged access to communication information. However, an administrative summon is needed for controlled access to data which includes user’s name, address, telephone number, details of telephone calls and communication which is not actually issued by the court.

How Government Get Access to User’s Data?    

The government officials may get access to the user’s data by persuading the ISP (Internet Service Providers). There are certain factors and variables which control the chance of granting access to data to the government officials. These factors include the type of internet service a company provides to its user, the type of data, and for the stored communication data the duration in which the data has been stored.

Data Retention Bill By Congress:

In 2009 the Congress introduced two bills stating that all Internet providers and Wi-Fi operators are bound to preserve the user’s data for a period of at least two years to help police in the investigation. However, none of those two bills became a law. Some lawmakers and officials often continue their argument that data retention laws are very crucial to investigate online child pornography and other internet crimes.

Initiative Taken By the U.S Hose of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee:

The U.S House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security in January 2011 hold a hearing session in which they discussed that whether Congress should be permitted to pass the legislation to permit the Internet providers to store the user’s data.

H.R. (1981) Laws:

In May 2011, ‘’The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011’’ (H.R. 1981), was presented in the House of Parliament for retention of such data. The H.R (1981) laws were later imposed to stop child pornography. Under these laws, the Internet Service Providers (ISP) were forced to collect and store the data of all citizens including the children’s so that the information obtained can be used at a certain time.

Within the H.R (1981) laws, to identify the users the Internet Service Providers are bound to retain the temporarily assigned network address. Here the temporarily assigned network refers to a user’s IP address and mobile phones associated with internet service. Moreover, this also includes mobile phone numbers and other identifications like three mobile phone identifiers: IMEI, IMSI, TMSI, and others. These are the unique ID of mobile phones which are used by different mobile companies to track accounts and handsets connected by the subscriber.

Quick Step Taken by Hawaiian Lawmakers for Storing User’s Data:

Individuals U.S states are not protected and they may face extreme consequences as they don’t have mandatory data retention laws and policies. The Hawaiian lawmakers in January 2012 held a hearing on state bill HB2288 and orders all internet providers organization under Hawaiian to retain the unknown and unidentified data for a period of two years. This includes the subscriber’s IP address, domain name/ hostname, and browsing history. The Internet Service Providers (ISP) are compelled to keep an eye on their overall activity and retain the user’s data on every website they visit and should maintain the records of links along with their IP address.

Now every other country is introducing and supporting Mandatory Data Retention Laws. The US should also take this matter into consideration and soon should implement the Mandatory Data Retention Laws. If you want to know more about the Mandatory Data Retention Laws in the United States you can follow this link https://www.eff.org/issueretentions/mandatory-data-/us
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