UK to Mandate Data Retention of… Everything

Your new computer, phone, and TV!

The British government has not been known for its high level of respect for privacy. But this truly surprised me. Vnunet reports:

The Home office has issued a consultation paper for a new law that would force phone companies, ISPs and network operators to record and store every phone call, web page request and text message.

The information would have to be stored for 12 months by service providers and would be searchable by a wide variety of organisations, including local councils, health authorities, and even Ofsted and the Post Office.

Every website I visit, every email I send, every phone call I make, every text I send… that’s pretty much everything about me. Where to begin? The security problems are obvious. Not only will the massive database with all information collected in the past year about everyone become the greatest target for hackers ever forged; hacking is not even needed to get in. Just find a friend who works at the Post Office! Anonymity will become impossible. Private feuds or flings will become public. Dissenting speech will be chilled.

At least the proposal only applies to one’s electronic communications. In-person conversations on the street are still safe… oh wait, they’re not.