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United Kingdom Government Privacy The Almighty Buck The Internet Your Rights Online

Broadband Bills Will Have To Increase To Pay For Snooper's Charter, MPs Warned (theguardian.com) 77

An anonymous reader writes that the UK's Science and Technology Select Committee has been told that ISPs will have huge problems implementing the so-called snooper's charter, and may be forced to raise their prices. The Guardian reports: "Consumers' broadband bills will have to go up if the investigatory powers bill is passed due to the "massive cost" of implementation, MPs have been warned. Internet service providers (ISP) told a Commons select committee that the legislation, commonly known as the snooper's charter, does not properly acknowledge the "sheer quantity" of data generated by a typical internet user, nor the basic difficulty of distinguishing between content and metadata. As a result, the cost of implementing plans to make ISPs store communications data for up to 12 months are likely to be far in excess of the £175m the government has budgeted for the task, said Matthew Hare, the chief executive of ISP Gigaclear."
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Broadband Bills Will Have To Increase To Pay For Snooper's Charter, MPs Warned

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  • Good. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2015 @07:39AM (#50914127)

    Good. I'm delighted to hear about this. It's high time that the cost of outrageous government snooping programs are made to fall directly on the public who ultimately vote to support this nonsense.

    Oh? You're ambivalent about mass GCHQ/NSA surveillance? OK. Well it'll cost you an extra £11 a month on your telephone bill. Oh you have a problem now?.

    Most people will not care about an issue until they see it hit their pocket. Therefore, I say let it.

    • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by olsmeister ( 1488789 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @07:40AM (#50914137)
      Call it out as a separate line item too.
      • They actually want to make it illegal to even discuss the surveillance, so that could be interpreted as being in breach of the law.

        • Have you considered a thing like the Bill of Rights? And not wattered down versions, so common in modern countries, that offer escape clauses "if the government really really really wants to". As we see in the US with warrantless spying, even that may not be enough, but it is a start. Then you can call out taxes as a line item, as speech.

          • All Bills of Rights have "escape clauses" that limit the rights of an individual when they appear to threaten public order, national security etc. There's not going to be much difference in the bill of rights of a totalitarian country and an open and democratic country. The rights exist only so long as there are people willing to fight for them, whether in word or deed.
          • The constitution in the UK is different, being mostly old laws and customs. There are few absolutely guaranteed rights, as I understand it, but there's lots of things that the government isn't going to do. You might want to ask somebody who knows something about the UK government legal structure for accurate details.

            It is likely to be against EU treaties, though.

      • The cost will probably be less than I currently pay for online storage and this is one service that's guaranteed to be unlimited. :)
        • Yeah; but if you want to restore from backup, you have to infiltrate Theresa May's lair and defeat her in hand-to-hand combat(and don't let her media-relations-form fool you; her combat form is considerably more terrifying). The savings just aren't worth it.
          • But make sure you take a lot of potions. You just know she will be one of those annoying bosses that you think you have defeated kmly to laugh in your face spouting "you're a fool if you think this os my final form" and then comes back bigger and stronger than before
    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      Well it'll cost you an extra £11 a month on your telephone bill. Oh you have a problem now?.

      Except it won't be an extra £11 a month. If £175m isn't enough, lets make it an order of magnitude larger to ensure that there will be enough with £1.75b There's 100m+ phone lines in the UK, so £1.75b / 12 months / 100m lines = £1.46 a month. Add in the 20m+ homes that have internet subscriptions, not to mention the number of commercial subscribers and you're barely above an ext

    • Good. I'm delighted to hear about this. It's high time that the cost of outrageous government snooping programs are made to fall directly on the public who ultimately vote to support this nonsense.

      Oh? You're ambivalent about mass GCHQ/NSA surveillance? OK. Well it'll cost you an extra £11 a month on your telephone bill. Oh you have a problem now?.

      Most people will not care about an issue until they see it hit their pocket. Therefore, I say let it.

      Unfortunately, many British taxpayers will not think this through so clearly. But the increased ISP bills will discourage Internet use; that would suit the government very much indeed. Just imagine how much frustration and anger there is in Western political circles at the growing tendency to seek news and opinion on the Web. All that money and effort channelled into controlling the mainstream media, bribing editors and journalists, and spoonfeeding them the party line - and what happens? Their circulation

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Of course it's going to cost more. Every time the "snooper's charter" proposal came up with Labour and then the Coalition, the cost was placed at around £2bn at least. Even during the Coalition, it was estimated at around £2bn to do this. Nothing has really changed with the proposals, and yet the government thinks it's now going to cost £175m. I know storage costs are getting cheaper, but the amount of data generated is far more than it was when Blair and his cronies were trying to push a

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      The public must be protected at all cost. No matter how much money it takes or home much privacy we must lose it is imperative that the public be kept safe.

  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @08:40AM (#50914421) Journal

    And whle you're at it, itemize the bill.

    Line rental mothly: 5 pounds
    30 mbit/s package: 10 pounds
    fee for us to snoop on you as legally required by the government: 10 pounds

    If it costs more, pass the cost on to the customer and LET THEM KNOW.

  • Have you ever wondered how long it would take to record so much data that to read it would take the same amount of energy as it would take to boil all the water in the world's oceans?

    Thankfully we have ZFS but how much data do they really intend to store? It is cheaper to just put everyone in prison and give them a free iphone. As long as tasty meals are provided there shouldn't be many complaints. I shotgun top bunk.

  • Urban legend has it that back in Old Days of the Revolution, the Chinese Communist Party billed the family of an executed criminal* for the cost of the bullet used to execute him.

    There's some dispute to this, of course. It is hard to believe because it would be beyond the pale of decency, even to the extent it would be acknowledged by Communist revolutionaries, to bill you for the cost of their oppression.

    But not, apparently, in Oceania.

    *"criminal" often meant political opponent, not necessarily an actual c

  • OK, say you take them at their word and they're just logging sites you visit (as in the domain). Have you ever looked at all the domains you 'visit' when you open a 'modern' web page?

    What's to stop a random site from including an iframe or other call to http://dodgy-jihadi-site.com/ [dodgy-jihadi-site.com] in their page? Does that get logged? If not, what's to stop a site from just being a wrapper page that lets you browse dodgy sites without triggering their metadata capture? What's the chances that loads of sites will put malici

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