Tuesday, 8 March 2016

There is no single set of data that constitutes an internet connection record

Image result for worse not better
The Investigatory Powers bill (Snooper's Charter) has recently been revised.  Although the Home Office assures us that the comments on the original from various advisory committees have been addressed in the rewrite, this apparently is not the case.  For example, we saw here that they 'addressed' a serious privacy concern by adding the word "privacy" to an otherwise unchanged section.

Unsurprisingly, this is far from the only flaw in the IP revision.  For example, the bill still refuses to define what constitutes an "Internet Connection Record", which is the user data the bill would require ISPs to keep and to share with the government.   This is the best the bill comes to a definition:
The core information that is likely to be included are: an account reference, a source IP and port address, a destination IP and port address and a time/date. However, there is no single set of data that constitutes an internet connection record, it will depend on the service and service provider concerned.
I can think of only one reason to repeatedly refuse to define what customer data ISPs will be forced to keep and/or divulge.  The construct 'Internet Connection Record' is a proxy for "whatever we want at the time".  The revisers of the bill didn't take time to pin this definition down, but they did take time to actually extend the proposed powers.  Whereas previously the draft was concerned with "internet communications services", the revised bill includes... well everything. Ever.

It's a common theme throughout. The Home Office has used the revision as an opportunity to make the bill worse, not better.

No comments:

Post a Comment