posted May 18, 2001

Eurocops want seven-year retention of all phone, Net traffic Misc.5/18/2001; 3:20:13 PM 'The official EU body that represents the member governments will recommend the long-term retention of personal data at a meeting with the European Commission later this month, according to documents leaked to London-based civil liberties journal Statewatch. 'The Council of the European Union, which represents the 15 member governments, will discuss implementing a policy originally designed with the FBI six years ago. It calls for the retention of "every phone call, every mobile phone call, every fax, every e-mail, every website's contents, all internet usage, from anywhere, by everyone, to be recorded, archived and be accessible for at least seven years," notes the journal.'I'm not certain this is even technologically feasible. Oh sure, the data can be collected, but I'm not convinced we could store it for seven years and have it usable and relatively easily retrievable. I would not be surprised that that would be the most complicated database undertaking in the world. Probably only scientists could match that amount of data (astronomers in particular), and they tend to have obvious ways of organizing the data (such as by position in the sky and time). Even trying to identify the point of origin of all these phone calls, faxes, e-mails and whatnot as quickly as they occur will be difficult, let alone getting them to a storage facility.Even though our storage technology is improving, data use on the internet is also increasing rapidly. I don't think this is going to work half as well as the lawmakers think it will. Clearly the lawmakers (yet again!) have failed to consult anybody who actually knows about technology. Even storing the contents of "every site on the Internet" at any given point in time is beyond the capabilities of anybody I know, such as Google, let alone for seven years (as I presume that means some sort of snapshot system). Idiots.


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