US ISPs split on anti-pornography proposals

A number of major ISPs in the US have agreed to back proposals to ensure that records of Internet users' activities are stored for up to 12 months in a bid to tackle growing child pornography problem.

However, some ISPs are reported to be less than impressed with the proposals, especially since they will have to pick up the tab for the data storage costs involved.

John Ryan, AOL's chief counsel, has told US lawmakers that the warehousing of customer data will require enormous resources and that creating such a large database will actually frustrate law enforcement's goal of locating and identifying the suspects they are pursuing.

Ryan said that an analysis by his company showed that storing and maintaining customer data for a year would cost AOL about $44 million.

The biggest problem for lawmakers, of course, is that there are already encrypted IP surfing systems available to that prevent snooping by ISPs on their customers.

If ISP customer records legislation were passed in the US, you can bet your bottom dollar that sales of these services would go through the roof as Netizens rebelled against their surfing sessions being monitored and recorded by their ISPs and other interested parties.

Not that I'm in support of child pornographers on the Net - far from it. I'm just stating what I think will happen...