Data costs in ‘snoopers’ charter’ would have hit police forces

Public Servant magazine reports:

The draft Communications Data Bill, widely referred to by critics and civil liberty groups as a “snoopers’ charter”, had been pushed forward by Home Secretary Theresa May as necessary for police and intelligence services to keep pace with serious criminals and terrorists on the internet. It would have allowed them greater access to information on people’s online communications.

But with mounting pressure from campaigners and serious criticisms made by a cross party parliamentary committee about the “scope, proportionality, cost” and checks and balances associated with the bill, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg blocked the plans in December, ordering a “fundamental rethink”.

The government’s estimate that the bill would cost a total of £1.8bn had also been brought into question on several occasions, with much higher costs feared.

But one detail of the costs has now emerged – police forces themselves would have been required to reimburse internet companies for the costs storing the data – costs that would have run into millions of pounds.