Friday, January 09, 2009

The thin end of the wedge

This story is, as the title of this post might suggest, the thin end of the wedge.

From March all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will by law have to keep information about every e-mail sent or received in the UK for a year.

The government will pay the ISPs more than £25m to ensure work runs smoothly.

The Home Office insists the data, which does not include e-mails' content, is vital for crime and terror inquiries.

Currently it won't include e-mail content. But considering the discussions politicians have been having recently with regards to the internet I cannot see it being long before there's a new department somewhere in the Home Office monitoring everything we write.
Dr Richard Clayton, a security researcher at the University of Cambridge's computer lab said the money could have been better spent...There are much better things to do to spend our billions on than snooping on everybody in the country just on the off chance that they're a criminal.

I couldn't agree more. However, because this stems from the EU - where else? - what I, or you, or anyone else who isn't a pro EU MEP thinks is, alas, irrelevant.

This really has nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with the removal of our civil liberties, in this case for us to communicate with people without a group of incompetents sticking their noses into our private - shall I write that again - PRIVATE communications.
The new rules are due to come into force on 15 March, as part of a European Commission directive which could affect every ISP in the country.

That must have hurt. The media in this country actually admitting that much of our draconian legislation comes from the EU. They didn't write the directive number down, though. It's the EU Data Retention Directive, 2006/24/EC

The consultation process is due to open this year. I do hope lots of people tell the government where to go, but of course that is pretty irrelevant if the main basis of the law stems from the EU where the law makers are civil servants who are unelected and unaccountable to the people of this country.


Giolla said...

I'm so glad I run my own mail server, and the only thing I get from my ISP is connectivity.

Mind how many people do actually use their ISP for mail rather than say google or yahoo?

Craig said...

I'm not a lawyer, but do we think that there might be a market for an ISP in a non-EU state where email users can host their email accounts and thus tell the government to "do one"?