It's 2008. Ireland is supposedly a democracy, yet the Gardai (Irish police force) are now demanding that ISPs provide them with live access to browser data.
Say goodbye to your privacy!
The story was covered in The Irish Times today
Basically the Gardai are asking ISPs to give them a live link into their networks to capture realtime data!
Retaining personally identifiable data falls outside the scope of the data retention directive, as it clearly conflicts with privacy legislation.
The EU data retention directive will come into force in Ireland in the near future, but what it covers is quite slim in many respects and even that is viewed by many as an invasion of privacy.
Having said that it is possible for the gardai, or other law enforcement agencies, to request web logs and other data from ISPs in specific circumstances ie. on a case by case basis where the access request is controlled etc.,.
But providing constant, live, realtime access? That's a new one.
According to the press coverage today, which is the first I'd heard of the entire thing, the Gardai are trying the "good citizen" ploy as their excuse for what is clearly a request to ignore our civil rights.
Do I want some police officer watching my every move online?
Would I be comfortable with that?
I somehow doubt it.
In a country like Ireland where there have been so many cases of government bodies "mislaying" sensitive data this kind of request is insane.
(Disclosure: We are members of the Irish ISP Association (ISPAI) and I'm personally involved with the data retention working group within ISPAI)