UK plan to monitor all internet use
Posted in: Government & Policy at 28/04/2009 11:25
Communications companies are being asked to record all internet contacts between people to modernise police surveillance tactics in the UK.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith stepped back from a single database - but wants companies to hold and organise the information for the security services.
The new system would track all e-mails, phone calls and internet use, including visits to social network sites.
Ministers say police and the security services need new tools to fight crime.
UK scraps plans for Big Brother database
Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, has scrapped plans to build a giant database to monitor the UK's e-mails, phone calls and internet activity. Instead, records of every electronic communication will be held by private companies at an estimated cost to the taxpayer of £2 billion over ten years.
The Home Secretary admitted that a state-run central store of electronic data was an "extreme" solution, amounting to an unwarranted intrusion of privacy.
UK government wants phone and internet providers to track users
The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, today ruled out building a single state "super-database" to track everybody's use of email, internet, text messages and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Smith said creating a single database run by the state to hold such personal data would amount to an extreme solution representing an unwarranted intrusion of personal privacy.
Phone bills 'will rise' to pay for database
Ministers want to farm out a Big Brother database of everyone's emails, phone calls and internet use to private companies who will be given the job of storing the data on behalf of the state.
The £2bn cost of the plans could add millions of pounds to phone and internet bills to help pay for new systems to collect and sort private information.
Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said the Government had rejected the idea of a centralised database because it would impinge on privacy. She favoured a "middle way" in which primary communication companies, such as BT or Virgin, and leading internet service providers would have the job of collating phone, email and web use.
UK government drops plans for single communications database over privacy concerns
The Government has ruled out the creation of a controversial database which would have stored details of web use, emails and phone calls made by people in the UK. It said that it was the 'most effective' solution but has ruled it out on privacy grounds.
The Government will continue to rely on phone and internet companies' records, it said.
Gov't outlines Facebook monitoring plans
The government wants communications service providers to record, retain and process details of all communications that take place over their networks, the home secretary said on Monday.
Jacqui Smith was speaking at the launch of a consultation entitled Protecting the Public in a Changing Communications Environment. She said it was essential for such information to be easily accessible by public authorities, including the police, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), HM Revenue & Customs, and the intelligence agencies.