How Long Does Your ISP Store IP-Address Logs?Submitted by PWA on Fri, 06/29/2012 - 05:48
The ongoing avalanche of mass-BitTorrent lawsuits reveal that IP-addresses can get people into a heap of trouble and it’s not unusual for Internet subscribers to be wrongfully accused of sharing copyrighted material. This begs the question, for how long are these IP-addresses stored? To find out, TorrentFreak asked some of the largest Internet providers in the US about their logging practices.
Currently there are no mandatory data retention laws in the United States. Unlike in Europe, Internet providers are not required to track IP-address assignments so these can be linked to specific subscriber accounts.
The question is, for how long will this remain the case, especially considering SOPA author Lamar Smith’s introduction of a new bill last year. Under his Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act, ISPs will be required to keep IP-address logs for a minimum of a year.
For now, however, no logs are required by law.
Earlier this week the CEO of Sonic called on fellow ISPs to protect the privacy of subscribers and purge logs after two weeks like his company does. One of the reasons cited was the massive amount of civil subpoenas that are, ironically enough, often sent by “Internet pornographers” in mass-BitTorrent lawsuits.