Argh! Our beloved leaders have just started a consultation on making it mandatory for internet service providers to keep email and web logs for a year and deliver them to local councils and police on request. Large ISPs have already been doing this, in order to make friendly-friendly with gov.uk, (do their customers know they are being watched?) but requiring it of all ISPs might put some small user co-operative hosting services out of business because it will drive up costs (need more disk to store that data and staff time to distribute it on request). Not what I expected from a Labour and Co-operative Party government.
Fortunately, the Lib Dems and Tories are speaking sense like this:-
“Ministers have proven time and time again that they are not to be trusted with sensitive data, but they seem intent on pressing ahead with this snoopers’ charter. ” (Source: BBC)
However, I’m pretty sure when the EU-level parts of this were being discussed, the Lib Dems and the Tories agreed with it. Something I’ll ask Neil Parish MEP when asking him about the progress of the promised reply to my three strikes by the backdoor questions. You can see why I’m sceptical about the “but it doesn’t mean what it appears to say” assurances, can’t you? They were worthless last time, and the time before that, and the time before that (yes, I’ve been doing this so long that I supported ST@ND).
The consultation closes after this year’s Parliament and the Internet conference, which could also be an interesting place to ask questions about it. And it’s another consultation I should ask the Phone Co-op (aff) about.
Please reply to the consultation and give a loud “NO” – if you have particularly good reasons, please let me know in a comment. I’ve no argument against policing, but a year’s logs? Local councils? There are too many holes in this to let it pass unchallenged. Thanks.