Government proposing to introduce legislation to make ISPs keep IP address details for customers.
This one periodically raises its head. In order to properly police the growing terrorist threat the Government wants ISPs to keep records of who had which IP address and when.
When this sort of legislation gets introduced the government normally pays for any work that must be done as a consequence. So if an ISP has to put a lot of effort into developing systems to keep the data Dave Cameron and his gang would stump up the cash.
The problem is that this always comes up against the hard rock of diminishing returns when it comes to smaller ISPs. In other words the implementation of such a system might often be considered to represent a disproportionate amount of work for a company with a small engineering team. If for example an ISP only had a couple of sys admins and a couple of network guys, to have to take on of these engineers away from the day job in order to do government related dev work could be a serious disruption to the normal business operations of the company.
On the other side the government would be paying out to set up a system that might cover a relatively few number of end users. They usually end up just asking the bigger ISPs to adhere to such a law (aka Digital Economy Act where only 7 ISPs are involved). This would then leave a huge gap in the fence for the terrorists to swarm through.
I once had a conversation with someone from the Home Office about this. The HO guy could only say “how would they find out about it”. That’s a pretty naive position. What’s GSoogle for? Lets hope our security forces have little more something about them.
One might also be a little concerned about the fact that this legislation, if passed will be another of those rushed through without proper scrutiny. Again remember the DEAct. The election isn’t far off now…