Laugh or cry?
This just smacks of big brother, but in huge, massive letters. We are aready the most watched people on Earth. I heard a statistic today that said that although we have 1% of the worlds population, the UK has 30% of the worlds CCTV cameras. Has this led to a reduction of crime, killings, even arrest rates? No. Do we feel safer because of this? No. Joe Hoodie just pulls his hat down a bit lower as the knife goes in.
So why will having a massive database of communications make us safer? Did the NSA and Echelon stop any terrorists? Didn't seem to help New York.
Can you imagine the fun that hackers will have with this? Or the more sensational of the Sunday Papers? This will make the Child Benefit fiasco look like a mere comment overheard in the pub.
The only bit that makes this laughable is that the probability of the Government IT being able to deliver this is just not credible. The sheer size of the data store alone is going to be huge. This will make the Passport system, the NHS system pale in to insignificance. Managing this will be a nightmare. So, it will be outsourced. Then the data doesn't even belong to UK Gov Ltd anymore, it belongs to some vendor. With the management being done from the US and the coding done in India.
The Telco's will, of course, suggest that this is a "good idea", and for them it is: it puts the problem of storing all those call records, emails, SMS, MMS messages on to the Government. At a stoke it makes their problem move back to simply one of billing records - and billing, tricky and hard as it is, is a much simpler problem to also keeping the content.
I can see a few vendors wanting to get in on this act: Hello? EDS? Sorry HP? Are you out there? Seems I need to buy in to data storage firms and/or integrated delivery companies. They are the only ones who will benefit from this.
Paris - obviously, because even she wouldn't take on something this big