[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] and FBI Director Robert Mueller [official profile] held a private meeting with representatives from major internet service providers late last week urging them to retain customer internet activities to combat child pornography. The meeting, reported by CNET, follows a speech [text; JURIST report] by Gonzales last month at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, during which he called on ISPs to retain records for a "reasonable amount of time". At Friday's meeting he advocated a more concrete period of two years.
Although the US Department of Justice is currently framing the data retention issue in terms of its fight against child porn, data retention is also potentially important to counter-terrorism efforts. Earlier this year European Union justice and interior ministers meeting in Brussels approved [European Council proceedings, PDF; JURIST report] a controversial data retention directive [DOC] passed by the European Parliament [JURIST report] in December 2005 designed to track down terrorists, paedophiles, and criminal gangs and calling for EU member states to store citizens' phone call and internet service data for 6 to 24 months without stipulating a maximum time period. CNET has more.