ISPs Claim UK Snooper’s Charter Could Push Up Broadband Prices

/ 5 years ago

theresa may

Internet Service Providers in the UK have warned that they will need to put up their broadband charges should Home Secretary Theresa May (pictured) MP’s Investigatory Powers Bill, nicknamed the Snooper’s Charter, pass into law. Representatives of ISPs told the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that money allotted by the government, £175 million, to support the storage of every customer’s data for 12 months, and the requisite security required to protect that data, is nowhere near enough.

“A typical 1 gigabit connection to someone’s home, over 50 terabytes of data per year [are] passing over it,“ Matthew Hare, the chief executive of ISP Gigaclear, told MPs. “If you say that a proportion of that is going to be the communications data—the record of who you communicate with, when you communicate or what you communicate—there would be the most massive and enormous amount of data that in future an access provider would be expected to keep. The indiscriminate collection of mass data across effectively every user of the Internet in this country is going to have a massive cost.”

Hare also dismissed the notion that tracking metadata is a simple task, since multiple internet services – internet browser, Steam, Skype, and even anti-virus software or operating system updates – often operate simultaneously, which results in data packets becoming mixed.

“All those applications are running simultaneously,” Hare said. “They are different applications using different servers with different services and different protocols. They are all running concurrently on that one machine.”

“There would be a huge amount of very sensitive personal data that could be used by bad guys,” John Shaw, Vice President of Product Management for Sophos, added. “The TalkTalk example is an unfortunate recent one that demonstrates that it is very hard for companies to protect everywhere the kind of data they keep about people, and this would be a requirement to keep a huge amount of further data.”

Shaw also feared that sales in software would decline should it become public knowledge that it contained government-mandated backdoors, telling the committee, “If I was a software business […] I would be very worried that my customers would not buy my software any more if it had anything to do with security at all. I would be worried that a backdoor was built into the software by the [Investigatory Powers] Bill that would allow the UK government to find out what information was on that system at any point they wanted in the future.”

Would you be happy paying more for your internet connection so that you could be spied on?

Image courtesy of The Guardian.

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