UGLY BELLIGERENT old goat the so-called Snoopers' Charter won't just be a pain in the privates. It will also come at a considerable cost to the already thinly stretched blue line of local police forces.
The Don't Spy on Us coalition, which includes the Open Rights Group and Privacy International, has suggested a figure of £1bn based on the experience in Denmark.
The group said that the Home Office would take the costs on the chin, which only seems fair, and that police officers may be due some overtime.
The real lesson from Denmark is perhaps that a similar snooping scheme was dropped on cost grounds. If Don't Spy on Us can't convince you on privacy grounds, perhaps it will in monetary and boys in blue terms. It already has some support from 999 Letsby Avenue.
"This highly controversial plan to record everything that all of us do on the internet was already facing serious problems," said Lord Paddick, Liberal Democrat spokesman on home affairs in the House of Lords and former deputy assistant commissioner at New Scotland Yard.
"It is unclear that it is even possible given the quantity of data involved, or how much use it would really be to the police. Sensitive personal information that could reveal everything about our lives would be vulnerable to theft by hackers, thieves, blackmailers and hostile foreign governments.
"Now that we have a professional estimate that it would cost well over £1bn in set-up costs alone, and could be easily circumvented by criminals for just a few pounds a week, apart from anything else, this represents appallingly bad value for money.
"Speaking as a former senior police officer, we need a much more reasonable and proportionate response and [to] spend the remaining money on more community policing."
The Danish government shelved proposals to monitor citizens' web browsing history after discovering that it would cost as much as £105m. The figure was arrived at by Ernst & Young, a name that may carry some weight in the Commons.
However, home secretary Theresa May is really keen on looking at your internet history, so who knows whether the Home Office will take the advice?
"The government is trying to force ISPs to collect all of our internet connection records but refuses to listen when they express concerns about the cost and feasibility of the proposals," said Eric King, director of Don't Spy on Us.
"As in Denmark, the government should commission an independent cost analysis to clarify the true cost of collecting Internet Connection Records. There is no evidence that collecting ICRs makes us safer." µ
But it's not yet available here in Blighty
We're not sure this is what The Maybot had in mind
Typical politicians - meme, meme, me
But it keeps the juicy details firmly under wraps