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  1. #1

    Question What is normal for large ISP log retention?

    With all the RIAA stuff going on and some ISP's fighting back (Pacific Bell) I got to wondering -- how long do these big (and small) ISPs keep log files?

    I've seen many speculations... one CNET article said some keep actual email (not just logs) up to 7 years. That seems like overkill to me.

    Anyone have experience at an ISP?

  2. #2
    They can log anything they want, Unless your doing something illegal, or have it on YOUR computer it's worthless.. Everythings hackable, and there could always be a pissed off employee that set the logs up to get you introuble. In this day and age in the courts that is a very good defense..

    Most people lose their cases against these things because they are ignorant about computers and get scared.. Most are settled out of court in plea bargins rather than actual crimes..
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  3. #3
    thanks but that's a broad generalization and doesn't answer the question. ;-) You're right, most people will settle out of fear and many will get thrown out in court because it's tough to prove certain things. But I'm not most people and I know quite a few people who worry about it, so I'm looking for a rationalization.

    The point is in the process of proving innocent or guilt the ISP can be subpoenaed (whoa, spelled it right) for logs. If they don't have the logs, that's not possible. Doesn't mean the ISP did anything wrong -- they'll keep them as long as it's convenient for operations. But how long is that?

    Disk space is cheap as dirt so I can't imagine that would stop them from keeping them forever. So it must vary. Any admins out there?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Goleta, CA
    You have to think of this from the ISP standpoint. They get hit with all sorts of legal junk from hackers to illegal content to whatever else. They need those logs to defend themselves from the government and other court happy organizations. So I would assume they never delete the logs or do so on a very slow basis.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Washington, USA
    ISPs will keep most logs for years, as they never know when they'll be needed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    well any buisiness has to keep records for a certain length of time, our company has to keep records of our forum meetings (staff/management) for 5 years and i would suspect ISP's are the same.

    they will only keep them for as long as they have to however due to space not being unlimited no matter how big you are, and then you have to catagorise them and be able to lay your hands on them. but i would think they keep them for a few years at least......

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