Expanding Info Provided to Police Will Better Identify E-Criminals
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Paul A. Sarlo and Barbara Buono which would require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to disclose certain identifying information to law enforcement agencies investigating a crime was approved by the Senate Law, Public Safety and Veterans’ Affairs Committee today by a vote of
“Unfortunately, e-crime has become a sign of the times, but all too often, prosecutors are put at a disadvantage because of the inherent anonymity of the Internet,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic. “Under this bill, law enforcement officers would have at their disposal detailed identifying and usage information to press the case against those using the Internet to perpetrate fraud or worse.”
“Server usage statistics and credit card information are routinely kept by Internet Service companies, so all we really need to get the info to the appropriate channels is enabling legislation,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “Senator Sarlo and I have reached out to some of the ISPs that would be affected under this bill, and they’re more than willing to cooperate. This bill just gives them a shield from potential litigation that might arise from sharing the appropriate information.”
The bill, S-2630, would expand current law to increase the type of information ISPs are required to provide to law enforcement. The new regulations would require that ISPs disclose records of Internet activity session times and durations, the means through which a client is purchasing the service and any relevant credit card or bank account number, network address numbers, and the start date of the service. According to the bill, this information, as well as any other info already required under law, would only be available after a grand jury or trial subpoena are obtained.
“The new disclosure regulations would put New Jersey law enforcement officers on an even playing field with federal officials and police in other states,” said Senator Sarlo. “Currently, there is a double standard in how much an ISP can cooperate with the law enforcement community, because giving out privileged client information might open them up for a law suit. However, the safety of children from Internet predators trumps privileged client information, any day of the week.”
“Through this legislation, we will be able to pinpoint a criminal’s exact hours of usage, the online equivalent of placing them at the scene of the crime,” said Senator Buono. “We would also be able to track when service is being purchased with stolen identifying materials, and crack down on identity thieves looking to hide their tracks with bogus service accounts. This bill will tighten the net around those individuals who would coopt the Internet for nefarious purposes.”
The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.