January 9th, 2009 by Adam
A recent BBC News article discussed a new email law that is being introduced by the UK government. This law means that all emails sent or received in the UK will have the details logged and stored by ISPs for a period of one year. Although the government say that this does not include the content of the message, only details such as date, time, from, to and presumably IP address, some critics think that it might not be a large stretch before we find that the content is being logged as well.
From a practical point of view, this means that ISPs have to store masses of data – bear in mind that this is all emails received, so this will include the details of tens of millions of spam messages sent each day in addition to legitimate emails. The UK Government are also going to have to pay the ISPs to record this information, with cost estimates ranging between £25 Million and £70 Million. With these costs in mind, perhaps it won’t be long before the government compiles all the email records into one central database – this is a real concern, not least because of the many highly publicised data breaches but for your privacy. The director of human rights group “Liberty” stated that you have a human right to privacy, and this right should be protected. It is very difficult to regain privacy after it has been removed.
So how would you feel knowing that details of every single email you sent or received had been recorded and monitored? Is this the kind of thing that should happen in a free and democratic society? Or do you find this sinister and of great concern?