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Data retention bill dropped

February 2, 2012
The Maui Weekly

State lawmakers threw out a bill that would have affected the privacy of hundreds of thousands of Internet users throughout the state. HB 2288 would have required all Internet service providers in Hawai'i to collect detailed browser histories on anyone using the Internet. The data collected would have been required to be held by the Internet service providers (ISP) for at least two years.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation noted that the bill could have been applied to libraries, coffee shops and employers if it had been passed into law.

"This is one of the most poorly drafted pieces of data retention legislation we've ever seen," EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman wrote.

The bill was supposed to be heard on Thursday, Jan. 26, but was instead tabled due to overwhelming opposition from the public.

The U.S. Internet Service Provider Association wrote a letter of opposition to the Hawai'i House Committee on Economic Revitalization & Business (ERB), which was due to consider the bill. The letter expressed unease with a "myriad of privacy concerns" and the high cost of compliance.

"We do not have a cost estimate in dollars to propose to the committee due to the sheer breadth of the legislation," wrote Kate Dean, the association's executive director. "But the potential cost implications for ISPs would be substantial."



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