Benjamin Schieder


2005 December 05

Isn't it always nice to see the EU become a state that would make Orwells 1984 look like a peaceful Utopia? After some talks with Sven Guckes I think it might not be such a bad idea after all. Here's why.

First, with the amount of traffic going on, the databases would be huge. We're speaking several metric fucktons here. Think of a small town like Munich and fill it with storage. That's the amount of traffic we're talking here. I mean, just look at my measly little DSL line here. In October I've had 71 Gigabyte of traffic. With at least rudimentary data integrity that would need 140 Gigabyte of storage. Per month. Per person. RAW DATA!
Just by storing the raw data, noone can see what I actually did. You need to correlate that, pick the headers apart, create tables of which IP address was used by whom at what timeframe. Then you need to analyze the data to see if I was leeching the latest Fedora ISO via BitTorrent, sending a PGP encrypted e-mail or playing SLASH'EM on my server.
With that in mind I think it's okay to assume you'd need around 200 Gigabyte of data per month per person. According to a recent survey there are almost 10 million DSL lines in Germany. Let's do the math:
10.000.000 * 200 =
So you'd need around 2 TeraByte of storage per month. The data must be kept for at least 6 months (Poland wants to keep it for FIFTEEN YEARS!). Let's do the math: * 6 = * 15 * 12 = * 180 = 360.000.000.000
So you'd need at least 12 and 360 TeraByte of storage respectively. And that's only for simple mirroring which noone in his right state of mind would do here. What? Ah yes, we're already talking about storing every bit of traffic on the european part of the internet, my bad.
And let's not forget the computing power to actually search through this data grave. How big of a cluster would it take to get a response to "who did blindcoder communicate with from October 1st to December 31st three months ago?". Actually, that's something I'm scared to answer, and so I won't.

OTOH, I would like a passus in these laws that would allow me to take my harddisk to this database and tell them:
Gee, Mister, see, in my e-mail with the ID I sent an archive of my entire harddisk (encrypted, of course) by mail to myself using your open mail relay. Could you please dump it on this harddrive I have with me here?
It would instantly put the entire backup industry out of work!


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