Author: Ted Mittelstaedt
Date: 23-01-05 09:04
Two comments I will make on your logging incident.
I work at an ISP. back in 1999, we got our first (and only, so far)
subpoena from the FBI asking for records. Unfortunately, at that
time we only were keeping detail records of dialup calls for 3 months and
the subpoena wanted them back 6 months previously so we couldn't
help the FBI.
Immediately following that I changed log settings on everything
to hold detail records for a -minimum- of ONE YEAR. At that time this
was somewhat of a burden as large disk drives were still rather
expensive, not to mention you need a lot of CPU power to read
through a years worth of radius detail records, even if they are in a
mysql database as ours our. Fortunately today this isn't an issue.
I think you should push the cops to get a subpoena for those
records. I'm sure your going to get a lot of bullcrap from people
claiming that they purged the records, etc. but the simple facts of
the matter are that with storage as cheap as it is, and people as
litigious as they are today, it's obvious to me that MSN has
records that extend back for probably many years.
As you say you have a right to those records. Of course MSN is
going to try to stall you because the flappers that isolate you from
the people that do the real work, don't want to spend the money on
the labor to get them. But, MSN has put an attractive nuis.. I mean public
service up on the Internet and they have a responsibility to the
public to assist in criminal investigations that involve that. I can
certainly tell you that if the ISP I work at was running Messenger
you would have had your records already. Not every company
views providing data to assist a criminal investigation as a
nuisance. For damn sure I would much rather be digging out old
logs to catch a thief than helping Grandma Moses yet once again
to figure out how to send e-mail in her weekly time-wasting
phone support call.
And as for my second comment I'm going to say it anyway even
though you don't want to hear it - there's a lot of alternatives to
MSN Messenger. I have never used it in the past and certainly
would not use it in the future, and I have never suffered from doing
so. Although I will admit I am biased - because MSN directly competes
against my employer who pays me and therefore enables me to
buy food. Paying money to competitors of your employer is pretty
self-defeating in my book. You might keep this in mind next time
you feel the need to make a comment along the lines of the
right tool for the job.