Last month when the EU decided to move forward with data retention laws, despite the fact that they tend to make it more difficult to find the important stuff, many people noticed that the plans didn't address the issue of exactly how ISPs were going to pay for all of this -- and whether they could expect any help from the government that was suddenly forcing this massively expensive task on them. Today, Home Secretary Charles Clarke in the UK basically said that he recognizes it's expensive for ISPs, but too bad. He suggests that the government is willing to "work" with ISPs, but basically just says that data retention has to happen one way or the other, and the payment issue is a minor one. That's a pretty interesting statement, considering that the costs are likely to shrink competition (ISPs will go out of business or consolidate) while slowing innovation. All this to make important data harder to find? Sounds like a great proposal.
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