Dear Theresa

Big Sister

I read about your plans to make Internet Service Providers record user IP addresses http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30166477

It’s easy to collect the data you want, but expensive to store and keep secure. It’s very powerful because it provides geolocated identification – it’s worth a fortune to an advertiser and it’s really hard to catch clever crooks who – as they inevitably will – figure out a way to copy and sell it.

Internet Service Providers face a cost with no (honest) benefit and the prospect of public censure for loss or misuse of sensitive data. Criminals will see new resource they want to exploit and advertisers will try to make it legal to do so.

It will make everybody more vulnerable to all manner of sinister deviance. Modern data correlation techniques offer frightening power to scientifically select vulnerable targets.

From an engineers viewpoint, what you are doing considerably increases the risk of personal security breaches. You are vague about the benefits on the grounds of national security. That doesn’t relive you of your responsibility to the public interest. You need to canvas the opinion of data security experts and encourage public debate to inform estimates of the potential cost of unintended consequences.

The cost for an ordinary non technical internet user to prevent their ISP logging them will be about 35 pounds. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1227374637/cloak

It’s so cheap and easy to defeat the tactic you propose that it really is of very questionable crime fighting value.

Posted in Cloak, Legal, News, Privacy, Security

Leave a Reply