Hawaii Data-Retention Bill 'Still Alive,' Proponent Says

Jan 30, 2012 12:30 PM PST

HONOLULU — A data-retention bill that would force ISPs to spy on users’ browsing habits may have been tabled last week in Hawaii's Legislature, but its chief proponent plans on keeping it on track.

Rep. Kymberly Pine, an Oahu Republican, told XBIZ she was "sad and disappointed" that the bill was "misunderstood" and later deferred; however, she said she is determined on getting stakeholders together — including law enforcement and ISPs — to craft revisions.

"We want these two groups to talk about this and come up with a solution," Pine said. "The bill is still alive, and it still is alive because there are victims out there, and ISPs can do something about it."

Pine, who acknowledged that civil libertarian groups and industry representatives have slammed the bill, said that it's not her intention with the bill, even with a revised one, to track everyone's Internet usage. She declined to elaborate on revisions to the bill.

"We want the ability for law enforcement to be able to capture activities of crime," she said.

Pine said she hopes to come up with some rewritten bill by May.

HB 2288, as it was originally written, specifies no privacy protections, such as what ISPs can do with the information  or requiring that police obtain a court order before looking through "virtual dossiers" of citizens and those who travel to the Hawaiian islands.

The “consumer records” would include historical records on IP addresses, domain names and host names for two years.

"The required data for the consumer records shall include each subscriber's information and Internet destination history information," HB 2288 said.

Testimony relative to the bill was fierce last week, with the United States Internet Service Provider Association saying the requirements of HB 2288 go far beyond the data retention legislation currently pending in the U.S. Congress, "and well beyond the information which law enforcement would need to conduct investigations into the majority of online criminal activity."

"The scope of the data retention requirements under HB 2288 are dramatically disproportionate to the utility of the data that would be collected," the group said in testimony. "The impact on consumer privacy of such a mandate is clear."

The Electronic Foundation Frontier immediately trashed the bill after it was introduced, calling it "one of the most poorly drafted pieces of data retention legislation we’ve ever seen."

"Data retention mandates like Hawaii’s HB 2288 treat everyday Internet users like potential criminals," the San Francisco-based digital rights nonprofit said.

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