Cost of traffic data access?

Roland Perry lists at
Mon Aug 16 11:03:42 BST 2010

In article <4C671243.8080001 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?

That was entirely aimed at keeping data you already had - in particular 
the web proxy logs. 4 days was chosen as the compromise between speed of 
request by Law Enforcement (it allows long weekends plus one day) and 
the size of file.

>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.

No, there are also tests of proportionality and "practicability"

>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.

I see another "what is interception" debate breaking out here. How many 
innocent subscribers are you allowed to intercept, to extract some 
traffic data for the one target under investigation?

Roland Perry

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