Monday, 27 April 2009

More government optimism

Well looks like the government is shelving the database of all our communications idea (at last!) in preference of asking Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to log who connects to what and how - ie if you access Facebook from your iphone or similar. This seems to be an extension of the existing laws regarding telephone logs that allow the police and security services to see who called who when.

What strikes me about this is that it is a £2b scheme that will most likely be futile. Just as cheap pay-as-you-go mobiles have made telephone logging pretty obsolete because it becomes very difficult to log who calls who when the phone isn't registered it is very difficult to glean useful information from the internet when you can send stuff via a proxy and have the information of who your talking to disappear especially when systems like The Onion Router (TOR) exist that helpfully cover who your talking to and where without any real effort.

Basically this seems a lot of money on a system that will achieve next to nothing. If people want to organise via the net there are a hundred ways of doing it that make it near impossible to trace who spoke to who, asking the CSPs to log this information doesn't really help at all especially when you don't even have to route most of your stuff via your ISP - open DNS servers in other countries will allow alot of the useful (to the services) information to by-pass the UK utterly.

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