#ccdp #stopcispa #notocispa #notoccdp #stopccdp #cispa
Prime Minister David Cameron assured Parliament that "we have made good progress on rolling back state intrusion in terms of getting rid of ID cards and in terms of the right to enter a person's home. We are not considering a central Government database to store all communications information, and we shall be working with the Information Commissioner's Office on anything we do in that area." The Prime Minister's reassurance should make everything OK. After all, the government's only asking for communications metadata, and doesn't want to store it centrally; and the ICO will ensure that things happen by the book. Isn't that a reasonable and proportionate requirement in the Internet age? Absolutely not.

Let's debunk the facile arguments about centralisation and oversight. The government does not want, nor need, a central communications database in order to monitor our lives, and in fact that would make the job harder: rather than wanting one giant haystack in which to find a particular needle, the Home Office plans to create many smaller, more manageable haystacks, the costs of which can be forced upon the CSPs, together with associated delivery challenges, so that there's a much smaller risk of the implementation failing. In the federated world, there's no point in having a centralised database, when multiple sources can be accessed as easily (or even more easily) than once central one. As for oversight, that's a hollow reassurance given the ICO's impotence at dealing with the most basic threats to privacy and liberties caused by central government departments and major corporations. The Commissioner doesn't have a fraction of the resources required to apply even a veneer of control over public servants' use of CCDP data, and any claim of governance from his office is clearly meaningless.
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