Guilty until we decide we can't find anything to try you with

The US Government is considering requiring the retention of web browsing and email information. I just don’t think they understand how absurd this idea is. First the mathematical issue of data storage. I believe the current number of Internet users in the US is 100M. If the average person receives 5 pieces of mail a day (with spam this is likely to be low, that’s): > 100M * 5 * 365 = 182,500,000,000

Or 182.5 billion records a year, which at an average size of let’s say 1k would require 182.5Tb. This does not include any form of indexing (usually a 50-80% boost in size), or redundancy (again, 20-30% overhead with RAID). Since the US is likely to demand they be held for 7 years, that turns into 1.3 petabytes (a million gigabytes).

Note that this is just email records. We haven’t addressed the number of web surfing hits. Let’s assume that the average user visits just 20 URLs per day, then we have: > 100M * 20* 385 = 730,000,000,000

Or 730 billion records a year. This at an average record size of 1k would be 730Tb, which projected out 7 years would be 5.11Pb.

Now let’s understand how much this would cost. The current average price of tape storage is roughly $1/gigabyte on large scale tape systems. This means that it would require somewhere around $6.4M in tape media alone to store this. Of course doesn’t take into account the hundereds of millions, if not billions in infrastructure to support it.

This doesn’t even begin to enter into the intrusion on unreasonable search and seizure, wire tapping authorization (how can you record data BEFORE you have authorization), freedom of speech implications, and the myriad of abuses that the FBA and CIA are no doubt likely to find for it. I mean, it is called the J. Edgar Hoover building because that is their idol—-a man who abused his power mercilously for his own advancement and the destruction of his enemies. We don’t have any reason to fear, do we?

Remember, if you’re innocent you have nothing to worry about. Unless you mind being locked up in a cell for 8 months while they decide if you’re innocent yet.

Hi, we’re from the government and we’re here to bankrupt you.