The Department of Justice with help from the International Association of Chiefs of Police is asking internet service providers to keep customer usage data for up to two years.  The DoJ said it was a matter of Homeland Security and that internet and cell phone records are becoming increasingly important in both federal and local crime investigations.

Sometimes these records are the only available evidence that allow prosecutors to investigate who committed crimes on the internet, many times leading to crimes in person. Accessing this data maybe the only way to learn a certain internet address was used by a particular person to engage in illegal activity, therefore helping in their capture and conviction.

Unfortunately The DoJ learned this the hard way.  If this new procedure had been implemented sooner, there would have been a number of heart-breaking cases solved.  However since internet providers dumped the date early, all evidence was lost and authorities of law were unable to reach perpetuators of these crimes.

Not only would this act help in regards to justice but the DoJ suggested that the retention of such records could actually boost users’ privacy.  For example; cyber criminals, frequently and unlawfully access data in the United States that most people would regard as highly personal and private.

In this case data retention can help those threats by enabling effective prosecution of those crimes. Making it more risky for those intending to do such acts and discouraging mischievous online activity from taking place.