Since my previous rant on the UK Government’s inability to understand how technology works, it would appear the Government has still not advanced its understanding.
Apparently they are going to force ISPs to record the time, to and from details of all emails. Aside from failing to see how this will possibly prevent terrorism, one has to ask; “what about about those of us who do not use ISPs to send email?” Am I going to be marked as a possible terrorist simply because I run my own mail server, rather than use my [parent’s] ISP’s?
Also, what information are they using as the from and to? If they use the IP address’s of the sender and receiver then they will neither be able to readily find the actual identity of the sender/receiver or to record the IP address of the receiver until they collect their mail from the mail server by pop/imap/webmail. If they, alternatively, record the from/to email addresses then the information will be useless due to how trivial it is to forge from addresses (as anyone who has received spam claiming to be from their bank will be able to testify). If they record the IP of the sender and the email address of the receiver (probably the most sensible combination) then they will still be unable to determine who sent the email easily since a single IP may have many computers behind it (due to NAT routers) and the fact that (especially with ISPs which dynamically allocate IPs) the fact that IP addresses are constantly being re-allocated.
Yet another brilliant, and useless, idea from our illustrious leaders.