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Email retention...

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Email retention...

Anyone else have any reservations over the proposed email retention the gov't is pushing forward?

I don't have any reservations regarding the gov't reading my emails (mostly offering me t** enlargements and the wife p* enhancements) but I do have technical reservations...

Under the proposal all emails in and out of all accounts will have to be retained for 12 months or more... now for email with all the spam, virus, mass joke mailings, mailing lists etc that's potentially one heck of an amount of data per individual account... multiple that by all the accounts for a given ISP and that's probably enough storage requirements even compressed to need a dedicated data centre Wink
20 REPLIES
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Humm Privacy of data I dont think so!! Ivan

Hello solstans,

Seconded!! I share some of your thoughts on this issue, as you so rightly point out the sheer volume of data would indeed be staggering but I suspect that only email that meets a certain criteria would be retained for so called security purposes. I think the sheer costs involved are so prohibitively high at present that the government cannot expect ISP's to foot the bill for this data retention process. The sheer storage space required would be vast even by present day standards. Therefore I dont see this idea becoming much of a reality in the near future, it yet another wacky knee jerk idea like ID cards which I doubte will happen either.

**Yes! even if this where practically possible it still raises all sorts of moral & ethical issues in the areas of freedom of speech, the rights of the individual citizen against (Verses) the power of the state & authorities, data protection issues (who should have access to such data & when & why, will it require judical clearance to see or use the data.

**There was talk NOT so long ago about 18Mths to 2 yrs about making ISP's have special data access interfaces fitted so that police forces across the UK could if required tap into the internet under certain undefined circumstances. I have no idea what became of that concept, I wonder if anyone at PN can enlighten us on that one?

**Finally, just so you can sleep tight & relax your worried about Blairs government proposed bill on retention of mobile phone data & internet useage are already small beer my friend. Your worried about the examination of such data. I hate to tell you this but the USA & CIA etc have a global spying system, a global network called Eshilon and every email, phone call, mobile phone call, satalite phone call, radio message, radio transmission (in other words ALL communications you can possibly think of or imagine) goes through Eshilon. Eshilon is a global network run by the USA, UK, & Australian governments in co-operation, it sits in the background steadily examining all data flows from all countries and examines data daily for specific content for so called security purposes? George Orwell was right but he could never have dreampt up Eshilon, quite scary I think.

Ivan
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Email retention...

Eshilon is actualy echelon - and to be honest given the scope of the data gathering Echelon (the UK are a partner country) par-takes in then your reasonably safe - as I said I don't have a problem with the gov't reading my mais... mostly cause they'll be lost in the noise.

Echelon is also to be honest overhyped in the media as a threat to personal liberty - where it comes in is industrial - this may be urban legend but Boeing and BAE have suposedly won contracts from French companies based on electronic intercept of French companies plans - the French complained only for Echelon to intercept communications from French companies revealing their own equivalent had been used to intercept US/UK company traffic Wink

The biggest threat to our freedoms of speach is believing that we can be controlled so closely it will affect us -- look at China with their much vaunted great firewall of China - even in that closely controlled country it is continually breached from within...

Only those who have something to fear need worry as only their communications will fit the profile for intercepts to actually route the traffic to a human (I'd guess its a keyword/text classification based system which assigns an interest score to each message, only messages > threshold get flagged/stored etc the rest get earth spiked)
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Email retention...

I think George orwell was spot on wasnt he Ivan ! the system used is called echelon which despite the huge big brother implications its surprising not more people have actually heard of it

imho if it goes some way to stopping terrorism and unnecessary deaths it can only be a good thing
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Email retention...



Digital Fortress by Dan Brown goes into some depth regarding this system/urban myth. He writes fiction, although it it is plausible that such a system is in use. It's also possible that it's all smoke and mirrors. Encryption programs, like PGP and others are in use by the government, businesses and individuals. My guess is that it is this sort of e-mail from an individual to an individual, that would get the once over, probably by GCHQ.

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Only those who have something to fear need worry ........


Unfortunately, it's not just those breaking the law at the present time who must fear a new law infringing civil liberties. It is how that law can be used/abused against the population in the future that we should be concerned about.

We have slowly and insidiously, had our civil rights eroded.
The civil rights that we enjoy today were fought for by generations past. Once they disappear they will not be regained.

How many of us would like out snail mail to be scrutinised in the future because some local panel deems that you are not one of the establishment?

How many of us want to carry a piece of paper containing over 40 bits of information around with us every time we go out, and to be stopped and asked ' Vere ist your id ' ?

If we allow our freedoms to be eroded completely, the terrorist will have scored a victory that has unimaginable implications on future generations.
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Email retention...

John, retaining emails is one thing - stopping people on the street is a totally different point. I'm not overly worried about emails as a) most of mine are spam or viruses, b) anything really important I have to do I can do using PGP, c) sheer volume means unless you are on a watch list or your email trips certain filters you're safe from prying eyes.

ID cards I won't object to providing they replace my drivers licence etc so I don't have to carry a wallet full of cards to prove I can drive etc... given my d/l has photo on it, my address and any motoring offences (1x speeding) on it an ID card isn't much of a jump - the biometrics on it just mean someone is less able to steal my ID.

Apart from all of this, we all know how good the various gov't departments are at making massive IT projects work... so until they figure out how to get IT projects working we're pretty safe Wink
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Email retention...

Solstans wrote
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ID cards I won't object to providing they replace my drivers licence etc

You must live in a dream world, we already have a photo SEPERATE but with (?) your drivers licence. Was that used in place of your drivers licence? No, another miss by our glorious leaders.
Blair had the effrontery to make a speach after the London bombings saying that we would not allow terrorists to alter our way of life. What does he do but bring in and consider many infringements of our liberties on the pretext of stopping terrorism! The truth is polititians just love to control us peasants as much as possible!
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Email retention...

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The truth is polititians just love to control us peasants as much as possible!

Dont they just Sad
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Email retention...

My company only has 100 or so mailboxes, and only business data is stored in our mailservers, already we are at around 30GB!
May not sound much to lots of folks, but those in the know about corporate e-mail, and the assiciated common policies that many share, will know thats a hell of a lot!
eg A large well known retailer limits its mailboxes to 100Mb each.
:!:

PS. The 30GB only take into account active mailboxes and ignores things like public folders, departed users etc.
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Email retention...

I checked my mailbox today and just my server stored folders are in excess of 2GB (I've got a few very large documents sent to me as emails etc + quite alot of code attachments)... our comany has around 1000 engineers given say 2TB of storage needed just for the engineers. Not easy to find anything in that lot even when you know its there and know what your looking for.
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I found this article regarding echelon Echelon.
Whether it's true or not, I couldn't say, but I'm sure in principle some sort of monitor does happen.

Personally my only issue with data retention is who has access to this information, and for those worried about data retention just remember e-mails will hit many machines before they hit yours, and during that time these machines may be backed up. In addition every site, server etc. records your access via IP address and so there is already a massive amount of history about you and your surfing habbits on the net.

If companies are forced to retain data, then it'll be the consumer who'll pay, whether that be by increased pricing (direct) , or money handed out by the state (indirect).

As for the amount of space needed to store all that information, disk is cheap, and tape is even cheaper.
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Email retention...

Same article i read ! makes interesting reading and yes i agree with you Aaron
the only issue i would have is who has access to this info

They more or less know what we had for breakfast anyway or could find out if neccessary
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Email retention...

It is difficult to walk the line between freedom and government.

If you get caught, and prosecuted for speeding by camera (I'm speaking generaly here) the gut reaction is "Foul". However you have broken the law.

If in monitoring emails the police catch and stop a paedophile from meeting and molesting your child, would you then cry "Foul".

The day will come when vehicles are monitored continuously, which may well help catch the burglar and return your property. As has been said the problem is all these things can be abused, and who will check that it is not?
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But your talking about two crimes which are viewed in a very different manner.

I have no problem with data retention in prinicple, but I don't want the places I visit to be past as marketing data for example. I've worked for various retail IT departments and what they gather on their shoppers is scary stuff.
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Email retention...

That is exactly my point, it is all in the eye of the beholder.

IF we trusted our politicians then we would be relaxed about new restrictive rules. However we don't, whether for good reason or not they are NOT trusted.