Estimating the Costs of Online Surveillance

The CBC reports that the online surveillance bill will cost $20 million per year for four years. highlights some of the problems with the estimate.


  1. Looking at the Govs’ other estimates, that equals @ $800 000 000 for the first four years.

  2. How effective?
    I wonder how effective it will be in the end. Many people already used 3rd party offshore proxies to protect their privacy and I suspect if the bills pass, more people will do this.


  3. @Chris
    I use an off-shore proxy and web host. At the time, it wasn’t as much about the privacy as it was about the cost. The 10Eruo (~$15) a month I spend in the Netherlands gives me vastly more service than I could get here at even 3 times the cost and more bandwidth than I could get even at 10 times the cost. In the coming months/years, I suspect such services (Those outside US/Canada jurisdiction) and dedicated privacy services such as TOR, will become extremely popular. Nothing is absolutely safe, as Crockett and others have mentioned, but I think the goal is more to make it preventatively expensive/onerous to track…the lower hanging fruit principle. Layering multiple privacy services such as TOR (Encrypted IP hop-net) and i2p (Encrypted IP obfuscation layer), while extremely slow for anything other than communications, would make tracking virtually impossible no matter how much hardware you throw at it.

  4. It’s could be worse than that 0_o
    @Rutebear “Looking at the Govs’ other estimates, that equals @ $800,000,000 for the first four years.”

    The original cost estimate for the long gun registry was $2 million, for a database recording a SINGLE DATA SET.

    The actual final cost was $2.7 BILLION, over 1300X the original estimate. That means $80 million could feasibly turn into over…

    … $100 BILLION DOLLARS! Our tax dollars at work folks.

    Are we really ready to let this boondoggle loose, for a system that will be marginally successful if at all?

    How about improving the speed, oversight & efficiency of the warrant system instead.