ISP Logging – How Long? (Torrent Freak Article)

Torrent Freak just posted an article where they polled ISPs on how long they keep public IP address assignment logs – i.e. IP address equals John Steele, 234 Belowme Ave., Miami, FL. 

Currently there is no laws requiring ISP to maintain these logs for any time frame.  Most ISPs do keep logs for at least a few months.  Having these logs on hand gives the ISP some “reach-back” potential for troubleshooting and court/U.S Government requests for information.  In my opinion, the ISPs try to keep the U.S. Government happy and avoid having them meddle in their business affairs.  This is simply the cost of doing business for them.   

Some of the ISPs were upfront about the time frame, while others decided not to reply.  Here is what TF found.

Time Warner Cable (TWC)

Up to 6 months back.  TWC posts its data retention policy on its website.


Comcast did not respond to our inquiries but has mentioned a 6 months policy for IP-addresses in BitTorrent-related court documents.  The 180 day policy is also mentioned in the Comcast Law Enforcement Handbook that leaked in 2007.


18 months!!!!!


Approximately 1 year


6 months.  Cox didn’t reply, but previously it has mentioned a 6 month retention policy for IP-address assignments in the press. In Cox’s “Lawful Intercept Worksheet” the company also mentions that logs are kept for “up to 6 months.”


AT&T’s IP-address logging practices are not public. 


1 year.  Their IP-address retention policy can be found here – Charter’s website .

Sonic was not listed in the TF article, but recently they changed their policy to only keep these logs for 14 days.  Sonic believes that this amount of logs allows them to keep relevant data for Law Enforcement (LE) or other “real” legal proceedings.  By keeping smaller logs, the ISP is still able to help customers, LE, U.S. Government agencies, and Plaintiffs who are truly serious about their situations/cases/investigations, etc.  Sonic was very clear to comment that this limited logging was in no way meant as a marketing tool to attract customers who wish to hide their activities from disclosure. 

It will be interesting to see how the ISP adapt to public IP address assignment logging when “Six Strikes” starts.  Will the time frame for all of the six-strikes be the default ISP retention period or does it get extended?  Also I’m sure we will see other attempts to mandate longer log retention into law. 

DieTrollDie 🙂

About DieTrollDie

I'm one of the many 'John Does' (200,000+ & growing in the US) who Copyright Trolls have threatened with a civil law suit unless they are paid off. What is a Copyright Troll? Check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation link -
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6 Responses to ISP Logging – How Long? (Torrent Freak Article)

  1. MsDoe says:

    I am sending out my motion on monday, but would i benefit even if its rejected because my alleged download took place almost 6mo ago(in 18days)and my isp is comcast so maybe the motion would delay the process past the 180 days? or does it not really make a difference…just a thought, i dont really know how it works or what info they would no longer have. I know the trolls would prob still get name and address, but maybe less data info to actually serve

  2. anon says:

    charter only keeps them one year huh…Then what about this article

    anyone have details on this case? Because if they collected people info then charter most certainly keep data longer than a year.

  3. anon says:

    Comcast is more than 6 months. They connected me with an IP address used in July 2011 when subpoenaed.

  4. taco batman says:

    Curious if you know if these times have changed since the initial posting.

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