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Backed Up?

Normally us computer users freak out over not backing up important data at times when we lose it. We always say that it will never happen again and we pontificate to others about the importance of doing so. Well the Irish government is now going to take that step for us and back up everything we do online in about a month’s time. This includes e-mails, chats and even just logging on and off of the internet (presuming you either have dial-up or turn off your broadband router regularly). From what I gather the content of transmissions may not be kept but the details of who communicated to who and at what time will be, for at least 3 years. One would of course have to question how that data is destroyed after 3 years and whether or not digital data ever really goes away. Deeply disturbing action on behalf of the Irish gov; seemingly there isn’t even legislation allowing them to do so at the moment and they are moving on this under a temporary statutory order. Now if only they’d back-up content and provide an access API for people, they’d have the perfect service! source: Irish Times

2 thoughts on “Backed Up?”

  1. How bizarre. No due process and the EU directive is not even clear on what should be stored.

    Even though they are not storing the contents of messages they are storing senders and recipients. Imagine the uproar if the same system was implemented for An Post. Are Eircom records logged this way too or is the internet being treated differently?

    I feel inclined to use an anonymizer now. Never felt that before.

  2. Indeed, people would freak out if they had to record their details everytime they posted a letter. Sadly this is another example of power corrupting: just because they have the means to aggregate the data, they feel the need to do so. I’d imagine that Eircom’s and all the other telcos records are kept the same way, the only difference is that previous to this ruling the law enforcers would require a warrant, etc to dig into your records. Now, however, they can peruse at their leisure and without formal request. So if you ever tick off a Garda there is a chance that they might find out you’ve been surfing into the spa of embarrassing illness cures or worse and hold it over your head. Wouldn’t be the first case of Garda corruption after all…

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