Britons' Internet access bills will soar to pay for Snoopers Charter

The UK government has budgeted £175m/year to bribe ISPs to magically divide their customers' "data" and "metadata" and store a year's worth of the latter. This isn't even close to the real cost of creating and maintaining the massive storehouses of highly sensitive data on every Briton, and so ISPs are warning government and the public to expect much higher broadband rates in the future in order to recoup the cost of mass surveillance.

The news comes as UK Prime Minister David Cameron is promising national, affordable fast broadband by 2020.

Hare and James Blessing, the chair of the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA), also warned the science and technology committee on Tuesday of the technical challenges the government would face in implementing the bill.

Hare said: "On a typical 1 gigabit connection we see over 15TB of data per year passing over that connection … If you say that a proportion of that is going to be the communications data, it's going to be the most massive amount of data that you'd be expected to keep in the future.

"The indiscriminate collection of mass data is going to have a massive cost," he added.

When asked by Labour's Jim Dowd MP whether it would be feasible to comply with the collection regime, Blessing said that ISPs would "find it very feasible – with an infinite budget".

"The bill appears to be limiting the amount of funds available to a figure that we don't recognise would be suitable for the entire industry to do it," he said, adding that "the ongoing costs of looking after the data … will have to come out of price-rises". The government's proposal to pay for the up-front equipment costs would not cover ongoing expenses such as power or cooling, Blessing told MPs.

Broadband bills will have to increase to pay for snooper's charter, MPs are warned
[Alex Hern/The Guardian]

(via @Snowden)

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