Monday, 2 April 2012

Praise be, at least it's not centralised!

The Lib Dem leadership appear to be trying to pull the biggest bait and switch of the year on it's own members and supporters. While pointing the finger at those evil bogeymen, the Labour party, they want to extend laws on how much and how far authorities can spy on us.

The reasoning seems to be around a simple premise...it's all cool, because it's not centralised!

But just think for more than 1 second...what does that even matter? When we argued against the Labour plans it wasn't because we didn't care where our data was as long as it wasn't centralised, it's just that picking on the readily apparent issues of ease of access of a centralised system is a particularly easy win for making a case against intrusion in to our privacy.

The reality is this...if our data is not centralised, it is simple decentralised. Our data is still out there, instead of being in one data centre, it is in many data centres. Instead of being managed behind a single dedicated firewall, in a single physical secure location, it is in many locations...some not so heavily fire-walled, many very much not physically secure.

The problem, which I think we *thought* the Lib Dems got, is that having your data out there is a problem in itself, one that perhaps none of us take seriously enough. Funding and tech-supporting organisations to maintain these small decentralised areas doesn't solve that data problem, it exacerbates it.

This discussion is about liberty, it's about privacy, and it's about the real practicality of keeping those two things balanced while allowing authorities with the appropriate level of evidence the access to prove their case against criminals. It's not about logistics, and it belittles some of the most considered political people in this country for the Lib Dem leadership to try and simplify it down to that.