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Article posted Jun 26 2012, 4:43 AM Category: Resistance Source: Forbes Print

CEO Of Internet Provider Sonic.net: We Delete User Logs After Two Weeks. Your Internet Provider Should, Too.


Dane Jasper’s tiny Internet service provider Sonic.net briefly took the national spotlight last October, when it contested a Department of Justice order that it secretly hand over the data of privacy activist and WikiLeaks associate Jacob Appelbaum. But Jasper’s conversion into a privacy true believer began earlier, with a less-discussed subpoena: one regarding a pornographic film with an unprintable title.

Eighteen months ago, Sonic.net began to see a string of legal requests for its users’ data, mostly for copyright infringement cases involving x-rated films with embarrassing names: When given the option to settle or have their name attached to a smutty video in a legal case, Jasper saw users paying up–even when they seemed to be innocent.

So he took an unprecedented step to protect the privacy of his 40,000 or so Northern California customers: He cut the time that his ISP stores logs of users’ Internet activity to just two weeks–a tiny period compared to the 18-36 months ISPs like Verizon, AT&T, Qwest, Cox, Comcast and Time Warner hold onto users’ private information.

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