Cost of traffic data access?

Peter Fairbrother zenadsl6186 at
Sat Aug 14 23:01:39 BST 2010

Ian Mason wrote:
> On 14 Aug 2010, at 16:22, Roland Perry wrote:
>> In article <4C66A0A6.3030508 at>, Peter Fairbrother 
>> <zenadsl6186 at> writes
>>> Roland, do you have even a very rough range for the cost? Thanks,
>> There are perhaps two extremes punted around long ago, where it's been 
>> alleged some reverse-DQ requests cost £100 each, versus some 
>> requesters only prepared to pay £15/hr for proven effort sorting out 
>> the answers. But where we are today, I don't know.
> £15 a hour wouldn't even represent cost recovery of salary, let alone 
> overheads, for ANY engineer I've employed in the last 10 years. A 
> realistic minimum charge would be in the order of £35/hour just on a 
> cost recovery basis for low level engineering staff extending to 
> £100/hour for senior staff on the same basis.
> As to the particular data Peter is asking about NO sane ISP keeps those 
> records, 

I thought that it was part of the voluntary data retention programme to 
keep that data for 4 days?

It's also part of the EU directive which no-one seems to be implementing.

But all that doesn't matter.

Any one of several thousand designated persons (there are 1,715 
designated Policemen alone, plus people from the army, navy, mi5, mi6, 
gchq etc) can serve an ISP a notice demanding the next month's data - 
the only question is cost.

I agree £15 per hour is too low for the required geekery, but eg the ISP 
has to have interception equipment in place which could do that traffic 
data collection job, and it isn't exactly hard anyway.

Raw netflow records contain all the needed data, for instance, and if an 
occasional one is missed out it doesn't really matter as far as breaking 
Tor anomymity goes.

With access to the traffic data from about 20 selected exit nodes and 
you can break most people's Tor anomymity.

-- Peter Fairbrother

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