Communications Data Bill, it’s the technology stupid

Alec Muffett, the convener of the London Meetups, and an ex-colleague of mine at Sun Microsystems has submitted evidence to the the pre-legislative parliamentary consultation, unlike Jimmy Wales he was not summoned to Parliament, but did publish his evidence for as all. He argues,

  • It’s undesirable
  • It can’t be kept secure for £1.8bn.
  • It can’t be built for £1.8bn.
  • Encryption will render it useless.
  • It will be cost prohibitive for small players and maybe new entrants in the Internet and Telco business.

I rather like this quote,

“.. the costs of CCDP are eventually borne fourfold by the consumer: in extra service charges, in extra tax upon the same, in lost innovation and in lost competition.”

and I also like his piece on whether it’s possible for citizens to have security that is “too good”. It’s not a point he labours but basically, you can’t have e-commerce without encryption.


It’s questionable if you can separate header data from content. The header data is confidential data anyway. You’ll need to double the bandwidth of the internet in the UK, ½ for us, and ½ for GCHQ. You’ll need to massively increase the amount of computing capability in the UK to support the decryption capability potentially required

  • Liberal Democrat stated position is now that “there was no objection in principle to extending the capability of the police and security services to access communications data from emails, texts and mobile phones to Twitter, Facebook and other new forms of social media” but there must be assurances that message content is not retained.[4]
  • “I just don’t understand why some people might criticise these proposals. I have no doubt conspiracy theorists will come up with some ridiculous claims about how these measures are an infringement of freedom. But without changing the law, the only freedom we would protect is that of criminals, terrorists and paedophiles.” — Theresa May MP[5]
  • Met Police commissioner believes new powers are essential to waging a “total war on crime”.[6][7]

I wonder if the cost sharing is illegal under European law? 😉

Comments are closed.