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UK Email Retention Plan Technically Flawed 115

deltaromeo points out a BBC report calling the UK's law requiring ISPs to retain users' emails for at least a year an "attack on rights." The article also points out financial and technical flaws with the plan (which we first discussed in October). TechCrunch goes a step further, detailing how it conflicts with other governmental goals. Quoting: "...with one hand the government seeks to lock down the British Internet with an iron fist, while at the same time telling us it is boosting innovation and business online. It is quite clearly blind to the fact that one affects the other. Are we also expected to think that the consumers using online services are not going to be put off from engaging in the boom of 'sharing' that Web 2.0 created? How would you feel if every Twitter you sent, every video uploaded, was to be stored and held against you in perpetuity? That may not happen, but the mere suggestion that your email is no longer private would serve to kill the UK population's relish for new media stone dead, and with it large swathes of the developing online economy."
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UK Email Retention Plan Technically Flawed

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  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @01:18AM (#26395933)

    but rather the overflow, with miscommunication thrown in.

    Years ago, when they were talking about information overload - I suppose the people were thinking of individuals. But I'm sure it applies to governments as well.

    And with the governments seeming to get more petty all the time, I suppose that the actual important things are getting implemented poorly or wholly ignored.

  • Why use ISP email? (Score:4, Informative)

    by CustomDesigned ( 250089 ) <stuart@gathman.org> on Saturday January 10, 2009 @01:24AM (#26395961) Homepage Journal

    Anyone except home Windows users has an MTA (or two or three in the case of Linux) included in their OS, and can run their own email. I always use TLS for SMTP. So while the recipient may archive/distribute your email, the ISP won't be able to.

  • surprised (Score:5, Informative)

    by retech ( 1228598 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @01:38AM (#26396025)
    "How would you feel if every Twitter you sent, every video uploaded, was to be stored and held against you in perpetuity?"

    You mean it's not? Seriously, I'd be shocked if it were not stored waiting to rise up and bite me on the ass at the most inopportune moment.
  • by sigipickl ( 595932 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @02:10AM (#26396165)

    that is unless your residential ISP blocks port 25 outbound at their gateways (and it seems most do nowadays), then you are somewhat bound to at least relay your outbound messages off their servers... TLS doesn't protect much at that point.

  • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Saturday January 10, 2009 @03:40AM (#26396467)

    that is unless your residential ISP blocks port 25

    It's not just your residential ISP that may be doing it. I administrate several large mail servers and I use PBL's. They stand for "policy block lists". These lists are submitted by those same ISPs and my mail servers reject any SMTP connections from those IP addresses.

    SPAM has caused us to resort to blocking whole ranges of IP addresses from being able to send mail.

    If people in the UK have a problem with this then they can use email addresses hosted on servers OUTSIDE the UK. That's the double edged sword of the Internet. You either have to allow it all, or block it all, and there is no in between. The Great Firewall (China), and the The Great Barrier (under construction down unda) will be more leaky than a pasta strainer.

  • Email is private? (Score:2, Informative)

    by dov_0 ( 1438253 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @04:32AM (#26396691)

    These people think that email is private?

  • Its not the content (Score:5, Informative)

    by Metatron ( 21064 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @04:34AM (#26396709)

    The only requirement is to keep the logs for a year, from/to/time/date. Their thoughts (rightly or wrongly) is they want to be able to bring email inline with telephone records, where they can find out who called who and when - but not what you spoke about (we'll leave that to Echelon).

  • Get Involved (Score:5, Informative)

    by DrChrisJ ( 1306693 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @07:06AM (#26397239)
    Here are some links for you guys to check out. Please get out there and get involved: The Open Rights Group look to promote your rights in a digital age: http://www.openrightsgroup.org/ [openrightsgroup.org] Tom Watson (a labour cabinet minister who has a blog) recently encouraged debate about a proposal by the culture secretary Andy Burnham concerning internet censorship. Here is a link to that post, and be sure to bring up this is issue and the proposed issue of a wider internet database: http://www.tom-watson.co.uk/2008/12/andy-burnham-and-internet-site-classification/ [tom-watson.co.uk] Try getting in contact with the Home Office directly and make your views heard: Address: Home Office, Direct Communications Unit, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF. Tel: 020 7035 4848 Email: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk The Labour Party can be contacted at: Address: The Labour Party, Eldon House, Regent Centre, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 3PW. Tel: 08705 900 200 And above all else, keep up the pressure. Governments are concerned with one thing and one thing only. Power. If they realise this is an issue that could cost them an election, they will have very little option but to rethink. Thank You.
  • Re:Saving emails (Score:4, Informative)

    by Garrett Fox ( 970174 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @11:26AM (#26398387) Homepage
    Had, not "has." Neither US party upholds the Constitution except in a very loose sense.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner