I understand that an ISP has the ability to monitor a user's Internet browsing history, but do they actually do it without a subpoena/court order? And if they do, does the user's history look exactly how the history tab in Chrome looks, or is it categorized by site/date/something else
closed as too broad by Matthew, Eric G, David, Tobi Nary, Xiong Chiamiov Jan 10 '18 at 0:21
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I understand that an ISP has the ability to monitor a user's Internet browsing history
The ISP can monitor your current activity but not your history. It might of course save the results of this monitoring for later but it will for example not be able to see which sites you've used on your laptop while using some public Hotspot not covered by this ISP.
Also, it is limited what your ISP can see. He would be able to see which sites you access and with more efforts also URL and exchanged data if no encryption is used (i.e. HTTP) but if you visit HTTPS sites he will only be able to see which site you visit but not the actual content or full URL.
For more details look at the many what can my ISP see questions on this site.
do they actually do it without a subpoena/court order?
This depends on the local law if the ISP is allowed to do this (you might check at law.stackexchange.com). But it is known that some ISP not only monitor the traffic but also modify it to inject advertisements. And some see selling the browsing history or the profiles generated by this as an additional way to make money from their customers (of course, it is only for your best so that you get advertisements which you actually want to see).
does the user's history look exactly how the history tab in Chrome looks, or is it categorized by site/date/something else
I'm pretty sure that it does not like in Chrome since this interface is not suitable for fast and large scale analysis. It might not even be some nice GUI because maybe they use some pattern matching on the console (green text on black background of course, as all hackers do). Or it might be some fancy futuristic interface where they can drill down quickly to every image you've ever downloaded through your browser. But whatever you imagine as fancy interface - it will probably be different to it and instead just some seemingly boring interface.