Although your ISP may not be sitting back and watching everything you do online in real time, what they do is pretty darn close. With last week’s launch of the “Six Strikes” anti-piracy scheme also known as a “Copyright Alert System” it’s obvious that your ISP is spying on you.
An Internet service provider can read anything sent over the Internet that isn’t encrypted (by a VPN) and tracks all IP addresses contacted, meaning they know all of the websites you visit. What ISP’s collect mostly is metadata (IP addresses and port numbers) and that information tells who you’re communicating with.
Staff Technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Dan Auerbach told PC World that your ISP is tracking “who you’re sending email to but not the content.” They might not be tracking the content but it’s available to them. ISPs can see what pages on a website you’ve visited and what you wrote in an email if they want to. They can also legally share your metadata with whomever they please.
When you stop to think about the amount of time you spend online in a given day or week – that is a lot of information your ISP is collecting and retaining for about six months to two years.
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