10 December 2009

UK Data Retention Double Standards

As we know, the UK government intends to force UK ISPs to store vast amounts of data about our online activities. The idea that this might be an undue burden is dismissed out of hand. But what do we now read about using intercept evidence in court?

Lord Carlile said the long-term aim was to introduce intercept evidence, but the circumstances were not yet right.

"Before intercept evidence can be useful in court it has to be able to satisfy two broad tests," he said. "It has to be legally viable and it has to be practically viable.

"I suspect that [the government] may well say that neither of those broad tests have been met."

He said that under European human rights law all material intercepted during the course of an inquiry would have to be available at trial, possibly several years later.

The practical means to electronically store that much data did not currently exist, he said.

Obviously the government's intercept data is special heavy *pixie* data that can't be stored on ordinary technology in the same way that the terabytes of *ordinary* ISP data can...

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