The MOAdB in private hands

There is an interesting military acronym, MOAB. This stands for the GBU43/B Massive Ordinance Air-Blast bomb, or it is more frequently known, the Mother Of All Bombs. In terms of privacy, I like to think of government sponsored massive databases as the Mother Of All dataBases (MOAdB). Their destructive power against personal privacy is quite massive.

The UK is not only contemplating a MOAdB of communications data, it may be putting it in private hands:

A contentious proposal to create a massive database of communications metadata in the United Kingdom has just become even more controversial. According to reports in the British press, a “consultation paper” laying out the plan, slated for release in January, contemplates outsourcing the maintenance of the database to private-sector firms. The proposal has already come under fire from civil liberties groups, the European human rights commissioner, and former public officials.

Initially included in Britain’s Communications Data Bill as part of a sweeping Interception Modernisation Programme, the surveillance proposal was dropped from the legislation in September, but it was not abandoned. The database is projected to cost some £12 billion ($17.5 billion US), and would contain metadata about every phone call placed, every e-mail or text message sent, and every Web site visited in the UK, reports say. Such “metadata” would include routing information, such as the sender and recipient of an e-mail, as well as times and dates.


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