The Government is planning to introduce a giant database that will hold the details of every phone call we have made, every e-mail we have sent and every webpage we have visited in the past 12 months. This is needed to fight crime and terrorism, the Government claims.
The Orwellian nature of this proposal cannot be overstated. However, there is one saving grace for people who fear for their civil liberties. The probability of the project ever seeing the light of day is close to zero. This proposal - like so many grandiose government IT schemes before it - is technologically unfeasible.
It's rather a pity that I should have come across it via Unity's comprehensive fisking of the piece at Ministry of Truth.
Dizzy’s article is, not to put too fine a point a on it, an embarrassment from start to finish; and I say that not just as a political blogger but as an inveterate techie who’s worked, in the past, as a system administrator for a multinational corporation.
It could, conceivably, have been a good, informative piece on the proposed Communications Data Bill, which Gordon Brown announced last week as part of the government’s draft legislative programme for 2008/9, and perhaps it would have been had Dizzy managed to do even the most basic research into the background to the bill. But, as often seems to be the case with Dale and his little coterie of party hack bloggers, concepts like doing research and backing up your arguments with evidence are of little consequence when there’s a seeming opportunity to get in a cheap shot at the government. As a result, Dizzy’s big break turn out to amount to nothing more than a by the numbers exercise in overblown rhetoric, tendentious speculation and cod science fiction which describes an ‘Orwellian’ database system that exists only his own febrile and increasingly erratic imagination.
The central contention that Unity puts forward is that the database, that Dizzy dismisses as "a pipedream", is far from being too complicated to implement.
Your humble Devil would, of course, never describe himself as sys admin or even a techie, and Unity may well be right that this project is, essentially, nowhere near as complicated as Dizzy makes out.
However, I'll still go with Dizzy's contention that this government would still bugger it up...