I never had a big brother and don't want one now

As the eldest I did not have a big brother. I don't want to get one now. However the new government seem to be trying to resurrect expensive, intrusive and pointless snooping legislation in the Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP).

1. It is very costly to do what they are proposing - and will mean huge investment in equipment to snoop on normal people and to store the data. This has to be paid somehow, either by tax payers or by ISPs and hence ISP customers.

2. It is risky storing all of this data as we have seen both government and private companies finding it increasingly difficult to make data storage secure. To get it right just adds to the costs.

3. It is not just for terrorism and serious crimes - this data can be used for anything, and could be used to seriously invade peoples private lives.

4. It is totally pointless as anyone that actually wants to do bad things will be able to easily avoid the snooping. Encryption is standard on lots of systems from email to chat and criminals already know how to use overseas servers and secure encrypted access.

5. Every spam will be logged, but the content will not be so you won't be able to tell it is spam, so the data will not actually be useful in any court case as it could be spam. It will be difficult if not impossible to sort the meaningful data from the noise. And then there is the very real possibility of people generating huge amounts of fake data for the fun of it and to break the system.

As an ISP we expect to fight this. If the wording is as bad as the data retention directive it will be a doddle to legally bypass it even if that means running the break out to the internet in another country.


  1. ORG have a petition on this. I think 38 Degrees do as well.


  2. Can I suggest getting in touch with ORG if you haven't already? They might relish a conversation with somebody who runs an ISP...


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