Deleting browser history a crime!

Discussion in 'Off Topic Discussion' started by Business Attorney, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. Business Attorney

    Business Attorney
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    Did you know that you could be charged with a crime in the United States for erasing your browser history?

    The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was adopted in 2002 in response to a number of large corporate scandals and is is primarily aimed at improved corporations' financial reporting. However, Section 802 of the Act imposes harsh penalties for "destroying, mutilating, concealing, falsifying records, documents, or tangible objects" with the intention of impeding a federal investigation.

    Several news sources have been covering this over the past few days in light of the recent guilty plea of a friend of the Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dhzokhar Tsarnaev, who deleted his browser history after having dinner with the two brothers on the night of the bombing.
     
  2. tsubibo

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    If this is true, then every person who has watched porn might be guilty if they are impeding a federal investigation. Lol.
     
  3. abhi_garg

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    Upsssssssssssss Really sorry.. I wasn't aware about this matter ! I just taken it too funny. When I hear Deleting browser history a crime but now got reality.
     
  4. Joseph.Shivell

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    I don't think most people watching porn are impeding a federal investigation, but you bring up an important point - you're only committing a crime if you delete your browser history "with the intention of impeding a federal investigation". This is why the friend of the Boston Marathon bombers was allegedly guilty of a crime. his browser history may have contained information that would have assisted federal investigators in finding evidence against the Tsarnaev brothers. Most people can delete their browser history as many times as they want, with no danger of being arrested.
     
  5. tsubibo

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    I think there would be a technical error here. What if you deleted the browser history of your pc and somebody was using it that was under federal investigation. Would you be guilty?
     
  6. healingforce

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    That's ridicolous I think.. I mean come on how can you consider guilty the fact of deleting browser history? For example, if I browse in incognito mode the problems is already solved.. They won't achieve anything doing this apart a noisy laugh from all the porn watchers ahaha
     
  7. pwarbi

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    There has been quite a lot of discussion about this but I'm not 100% sure if I actually get what they're saying. Deleting your browsing history isn't a crime, unless you delete it intending to hide or conceal something the feds need. How are they going to prove what your intentions where?

    I think many people, myself included delete their browsing history pretty regularly to clean up any issues or free up space, I don't think I'll stop doing that any time soon.
     
  8. Joseph.Shivell

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    I don't think anyone is going to arrest you just because you deleted your browser history. On the other hand, if you are already under investigation because there is a possibility you have committed a crime, and there could be evidence that proves your guilt in your browser history, you could then be charged with a crime. In other words, there must be other evidence that you allegedly committed a crime, so your intentions would already be known, or suspected.
     
  9. LogansWalk

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    Unlike the federal government, my ex wife was convinced it was a crime ! Hell, anytime I deleted the history on our pc she immediately thought I was looking at porn or talking with an ex. I'd probably rather deal with the feds than her, thankfully those days are over lmao
     
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  10. Corzhens

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    Isn't that a ridiculous law? Sorry for saying that. I understand that its target are corporate computers and not personal home computers. But how can it be implemented? And that browser history integrity is easy to bypass by using another browser other than the official browser. I don't know, maybe I'm just being a brat that's why that law seems to be senseless.
     
  11. tsubibo

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    Lol. The wife conducts a better investigation than the FBI and CIA combined. LMAO. Seriously could they just not get the browser history on your ISP?
     
  12. Korora

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    The only way they would be able to do that is if they think you are doing something illegal and then they would have to submit a request to be able to do so with the ISP.
     
  13. Elysium

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    I do not find this ridiculous, actually. This makes sense, and unless you are breaking the law I don't see why you should worry about deleting your history. And just because one deletes their history does not mean it's gone, the government should know that.

    So unless you have something to worry about, you have nothing to worry about. Like the law says, deleting or tampering with evidence can lead to your arrest, notice how it says "evidence" and not random sites you have visited.
     
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  14. Diane Lane

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    Well this seems to be the place to ask about permanently deleting records. Is it possible to totally delete browser history and other data from a computer? If so, how does one go about doing so?
     
  15. Ted

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    There are multiple software programs available that will do this for you. They are usually referred to as file shredders. What they do is they first delete the file, then they overwrite the spot on the hard drive where that file was stored with random 1's and 0's. Each time the space is overwritten, it becomes exponentially harder to recover the original data. In fact, once the data is overwritten once, only the most sophisticated (military level) equipment could possibly recover it. And even that is unlikely. They might recover part of the file, but total recovery is highly unlikely. Again, this becomes even less likely with each overwrite of the data.

    Many file shredding software programs will allow you to set the number of times the data is overwritten.

    There are a number of free programs out there that will do file shredding. For browser related data I use a program called IE Privacy Keeper. It has settings where it will automatically delete your browser temp files as soon as you close the browser. You can set it to delete cookies and Adobe flash cache too. It will also shred that data if you want (overwrite it a number of times). The program is free and it works pretty well.

    Remember that shredding your data on your hard drive only eliminates the data record from your computer. It does not delete the information that Google stores about your online searches done from your IP address. It also does not prevent your internet service provider from tracking what you are doing or keeping a record of it. You have to get much more sophisticated to prevent that type of tracking.
     
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  16. Ted

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    I read an article about this recently and was stunned by it. If they are already investigating someone for some crime, do they really need to invent another law for an additional crime so that they can slap that person with yet another crime? I hate when they pass laws like this. It saddens me that there are so many laws in America that you don't even know about. It makes you much more likely to become a criminal by accident simply because you would never dream there would be a law against something like this. In my opinion, Washington is much too law happy. Live and let live. There are plenty of laws already on the books. They just need to be enforced better. How about doing that first. If it makes sense to create a new law then fine. This situation does not seem like it warrants that. Just my opinion.
     
  17. Diane Lane

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    Thanks, Ted! It's not as if I'm doing anything crazy over here anyway, but I do tend to sell my used tech products, so I would want to wipe it out before selling. That's a really good point about the ISPs and Google tracking and keeping that information. I really don't like the thought of them doing that, and thinking it's o.k. to do it, but of course, they're holding the cards, so I have no choice but to use their services, at least for now. Hopefully at some point, we'll be able to use the internet without having to worry about such surveillance.
     
  18. m0n2k

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    If someone was doing something illegal then this would make sense. If a person who owns a business deletes there browser history to speed up there computer I don't believe they could be arrested. It' not so much as just deleting browser history but tampering with evidence that's the crime. Some one deleting there browser history is not illegal. As long as your not a terrorist you should be okay.
     
  19. Sparkster

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    What about if they never kept the history in the first place? There are browsers which allow private browsing so the history is never kept anyway. Surely, anyone guilty of illegal intentions online that had a brain would do this anyway? Some browsers also allow you to change the settings so that they delete the history every time the browser is closed. How would they determine whether the browser was set up like this at all times regardless or whether it was done intentionally to hide illegal activities?
     
  20. Onionman

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    I think it's about the "federal investigation" issue rather than the browser itself. I wouldn't have thought that it would be any different to someone throwing away or destroying physical files and records if the police had already started to investigate them. It's got to be viewed in that kind of context.
     

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