UK home secretary Theresa May's latest proposal would see ISPs forced to retain additional data. This has reignited a fierce debate on the boundaries of privacy and the demands of national security.
The measure has been suggested with the aim of helping police to link devices with IP addresses, supposedly enabling them to ascertain the IP address of a certain device at a given time.
In theory, it is supposed to help police identify criminals and terror suspects, yet in practice it would be much less simple.
It's like saying you're going to open every single packet to or from anyone who uses Royal Mail. There's no device in this world that could manage the kind of operation Theresa May is suggesting.
Even if you doubled the working capacity of the people involved, it's still too complex. It seems like the idea has been suggested without consulting any technical experts first.
Surely, people who are already breaking these kinds of laws are doing it regardless. It's easy for people who know what they are doing to become untraceable using a VPN.
And what happens when it comes to businesses, whose employees likely share the same external IP address? It would require a lot of internal monitoring, money and resources to ascertain who was sending what and when.
If you factor in things such as the trend for hotdesking, the complexities become mind-numbing. It's data overload!
While I'm all for stepping up our guard when it comes to countering terrorism, but I have yet to see the value in this law.
Where is the evidence that it will make the world a safer place? ISPs already work hard to assist the police in combating crimes such as fraud and illegal pornography.
Why create another law and another layer of bureaucracy that will simply waste time and achieve very little?
Lawrence Jones is founder and chief executive of UKFast
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