Monday, 25 February 2013

Communications Data Bill

The Government claims the Communications Data Bill (AKA Son of the Poll Tax) is necessary. In other words they want to track you from cradle to grave. Ideas such as implanted RFID chips like the ones used to trace your dog, being bandied around. Even you dog has to have a compulsory RFID tag fitted over the next three years. Got a new passport in the last couple of years - did you know that it has a built in data chip. And do you remember the ID card fiasco, still on the back burner.

The three main issues with the Communications Data Bill are.
  • Reconcile IP addresses.
  • Capture weblogs.
  • Third party data.

The first data type is required to give the police “The ability to reconcile an Internet Protocol (IP) address to an individual” So, where you have a mobile phone operator that shares a small number of IP addresses, it has to allocate these to its customers as they are needed. In a few minutes, the same IP could be used by several customers. So you need to try log and store which customer is using an address when. Alternatively, if you were in a big office block, you might all share an internal network. One IP to the outside world, but lots of people using it. So you need to store more internal data to help identify the individuals.

You can always go and purchase a pay as you go card for your dongle - always pay cash for top-up services - and always give a different non de plume rather than your name. So, why might our MPs take issue with this. Well, this week it was revealed Parliamentarians have been visiting an "adulterous affairs" website more times in a single month than the official websites for the Treasury, Ministry of Justice and Department for Education. That’s 52,000 hits in seven months for "Out of Town Affairs." The prospect of having all of our internet usage stored would seem unnerving to the best of us, never mind those Members of Parliament  tempted by an extra marital affairs. Of course the MP's will vote for an exemption to the Communications Data Bill for themselves.

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You can't make it up....


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