[LINK] Senate committee probes AGD's data retention activities

Ben McGinnes ben at adversary.org
Mon Nov 1 18:19:30 AEDT 2010

On 1/11/10 6:01 PM, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> Assumption: We are talking here about accessing email via an ISP 
> connection and POP.
> Questions:
> 1 Do (can) ISPs keep a log of IP addresses and webmail access?

For their own wemail services, yes.

For external vendors (e.g. GMail, Yahoo!, Hotmail/Windows Live, etc.)
they can do so easily if they enforce proxy use (unless the connection
is via HTTPS and they have not deliberately "broken" their proxy
server to intercept HTTPS data).  If they don't run a proxy server or
enforce it's use then they will need to use something like packet
header inspection on their routers to look for those connections and
record it.

Examples of Australian ISPs currently using transparent proxies are
TPG and iiNet.  The obvious candidate for not using any proxy service
is Internode (although they might have it available for dialup users,
I haven't checked).

> 2 Do ISPs keep logs of IP addresses of users of their SMPT gateways? 
> Especially from outside their networks.

Yes, SMTP logs are always collected.  How long they might be stored
for is another matter.  In my case, I retain logs for about a month.
That gives me time to track any issues that might crop up without
filling my hard drives with ancient data that I don't need.

> I have up to five email addresses on my iinet account. Suppose I
> give access to a friend or relative. Just 'cos I'm the account
> holder doesn't mean I'm the user.

Which is why they tend to be interested in the IP address using the
account.  Most email services will include the originating IP in the
headers, although some webmail systems don't record that (e.g. GMail).


Ben McGinnes  http://www.adversary.org/  Twitter: benmcginnes
    Systems Administrator, Writer, ICT Consultant
Encrypted email preferred - primary OpenPGP/GPG key: 0xA04AE313

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