Home Office goes bonkers

So – as the BBC reports – the Home Office wants to put together a mammoth database holding details of every single email sent and phone call made in the UK.

Sometimes you see or hear something – and you just cannot believe where this country of free speech and individual liberty is heading. We all want to defeat terrorism – but expensive, all encompassing monitoring is never going to be the answer – particularly when it will involve such huge databases that it will be vastly expensive (taking money away from other measures), present huge security risks (imagine the scope for wrong doing with people accessing data they shouldn’t) and most likely end up not working anyway (IT projects and the Government don’t exactly have a happy track-record!).

Let’s hope the outcry already makes Labour Ministers see sense.

0 thoughts on “Home Office goes bonkers

  1. “Let’s hope the outcry already makes Labour Ministers see sense.”* hollow laughter *

  2. Yet another case of Ministers’ eyes being bigger than their, not stomachs, but brains. Yet another piece of evidence that this country is run by people with no connection with reality (and I don’t just mean Ministers – lots of senior civil servants as well). Civil servants who go to EU meetings come back realising how ignorant our mandarins are (and often also realising how ignorant they themselves are). You CAN build a Stalinist state, of course you can, but don’t do it here.But remember: this is only traffic data that they want, i.e. source, destination, time and date – its not content. Much of that information is already held for a short period by phone companies (so that they can give us itemised bills) and ISPs (who have been told to hold email traffic data for 6 months), but traffic data about web site access is not held except by some web sites. The frustration of the watchers is first that data is not held for the long term, and also that they cannot just sit at their computers and search it: they have to make formal requests for the data, which means they have to know who has got the data that they want. As someone else pointed out, we don’t record the same information about snail mail.Of course those who demand these powers have been persuaded that Armageddon is nigh and they can save the world. Well, it isn’t, and they will not save it this way. But for sure the Information Society challenges those in power. Emperors and acolytes with no clothes will be exposed. Our skills and accumulated wisdom need to be nurtured and promoted if we are to hold our own in tandem with the new wealth of the rising nations.