What a time to be alive, particularly for those of you in the UK. The Government has resurrected plans to store every single e-mail sent, Web site visited, and telephone call made. This, of course, is a direct contradiction of what the ruling Coalition (Cameron’s Conservative Party and Clegg’s Liberal Democrats) had previously stated, that it would “end the storage of internet and email records without good reason.” Shock: politicians misleading the public.
There won’t necessarily be a giant database in the sky, but the Government will work with ISPs to ensure that they do, in fact, hold onto the pertinent records for some period of time.
“Security and police authorities” will then be able to keep tabs on the aforementioned methods of communication provided they claim it’s in the interest of—you guessed it—preventing a terror-related crime.
The Telegraph found the program buried deep in the recent Strategic Defence and Security Review. Here’s how it’s described:
This programme is required to keep up with changing technology and to maintain capabilities that are vital to the work these agencies do to protect the public. Communications data provides evidence in court to secure convictions of those engaged in activities that cause serious harm. It has played a role in every major Security Service counterterrorism operation and in 95 per cent of all serious organised crime investigations.We will legislate to put in place the necessary regulations and safeguards to ensure that our response to this technology challenge is compatible with the Government’s approach to information storage and civil liberties.
Apparently we’ve woken up in City 17. Neat.