In following the metadata retention debate, of late I feel like I’ve stumbled into a 21st century remake of the classic Get Smart.  We resume as the desperate and bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) is trying to convince his arch-enemy and nemesis Kaos to give up evilness and rottenness…

“Would you believe at this very instant that we can investigate all counterterrorism, organised crime, counter-espionage and cyber security using metadata?”

“I find that quite hard to believe Mr Smart.”

“Would you believe that the Government knows how much retaining metadata will cost?”

The Kaos agent smiles and says, “I find that incredibly difficult to believe.”

“Would you believe that the Government knows what metadata is?”

The Kaos agent starts laughing. He replies, “No, Mr Smart. After all, if you had acted like Kaos, you would’ve accessed all the data everywhere already. ”

“Er, well, right.”

At least in Get Smart (unlike the Government) they knew what they were doing!