In 2006, the United States Senate ratified the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. In addition to criminalizing hacking, the Convention also provides a basis for law enforcement authorities to compel internal service providers to monitor an individual's internet activities in realtime. Article 20 states that:
Each Party shall adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to empower its competent authorities to:
a. collect or record through the application of technical means on the territory of that Party, and
b. compel a service provider, within its existing technical capability:
i. to collect or record through the application of technical means on the territory of that Party; or
ii. to co-operate and assist the competent authorities in the collection or recording of,
traffic data, in real-time, associated with specified communications in its territory transmitted by means of a computer system.