What are the laws regarding ISP recording IP addresses? How would they know who had which?

  • Since most internet users have ISPs using dynamic IP addresses (e.g. someone gets a new external IP address every few days) are there any laws requiring the ISPs to keep logs associating an IP address on a certain day with a certain individual? For example if someone hacks a website and their IP address is found, can anything be done about it? If ISPs do keep logs, what is associated with a persons IP address? I mean does DHCP somehow know the geographical location of who gets what IP, and then that information is stored?

  • Tie-fighter

    Tie-fighter Correct answer

    9 years ago
    • Some ISPs force a connection reset every 24h and you get a new IP address assigned, others don't force you and yet others give you a fixed ip address.

    • There are laws requiring the ISPs to log the User - IP association (which in turn is associated with your contract)... but e.g. in the EU there is the data retention directive that requires ISPs to even log individual connections. (Actually the EU directive is a "contract" between the European Council/Parlament and member nations, not between EC/EP and ISPs. The nations must adopt the directives in local law themselves. Usually they either adopt it as is, adopt it and extend it, have already adopted it or refuse to do so (this usually works by ruling that it conflicts with constitution).) read more at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32006L0024:EN:HTML. There is a visualisation for retained mobile phone connection metadata at http://www.zeit.de/datenschutz/malte-spitz-data-retention

      • Concerning your question about geographical location: There is a limited number of IP adresses available. They are goverened and distributed by organisations like http://www.iana.org and (?) http://www.ripe.net/ . Now your ISP buys IP addresses (whole ranges and networks) and uses them to connect you to the internet. They are not sitting there and free to use like on a private network with DHCP. (Try looking up your IP address and looking it up at https://apps.db.ripe.net/search/query.html)

    There are databases like http://www.geoiptool.com/ that try to provide location information for any given ip address, but their accuracy greatly depends on different factors (e.g. if your ISP only operates in a small regional area or in the entire USA). Usually those databases are only good for associating IPs to countries.

    The Data Retention directive was declared invalid in April 2014. Wikipedia and one specific source Court of Justice of the European Union Press Release No 54/14.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM