Cost of traffic data access?

Roland Perry lists at
Mon Aug 16 10:20:22 BST 2010

In article 
<C3309116-7946-4B4E-8A84-259F5458F45D at>, Ian Mason 
<ukcrypto at> writes
>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.

The sort of people who respond to requests from law enforcement are not 
engineers (because they generally only have to extract information from 
existing systems, set up for the purpose - if anything they are more 
akin to para-legals because the requests need to be validated), but the 
rest of what you say mirrors's the industry's reaction at the time: 
"I'll find if I have anyone I pay that little to and see how long it 
takes them to do it".

>As to the particular data Peter is asking about NO sane ISP keeps those 
>records, I doubt any insane one does either. To do so, even as  a one 
>off, would incur significant engineering effort and involve  setup 
>costs in the thousands if the existing ISP network was suitably 
>structured to make it a possibility. For many ISPs it might not be 
>possible to do without network re-engineering across an entire  network 
>potentially involving effort in the six figure region.

And requests can only be for data that the ISP is "capable of obtaining" 
22(4) and is "reasonably practicable for him to do" 22(7), which I'm 
confident (without actually examining the latest codes of practice, but 
it was a criterion when I last worked in this area) *excludes* engaging 
in brand new engineering projects simply to fulfil the request (let 
alone the proportionality and ban on fishing expeditions - 22(5)).
Roland Perry

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