Feeds

UK ISPs oppose data retention

Compulsory scheme likely after industry baulks at voluntary codes

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

UK ISPs are refusing to voluntarily implement the Home Office's controversial data retention scheme.

The Internet Service Providers Association (which represents ISPs) remains unconvinced that government requirements to customer email and Web site logs over extended periods is necessary in the fight against serious crime and terrorism, The Guardian reports. ISPs are concerned about the cost and privacy implications of changing their procedures to allow law enforcement access to customer data, introduced as part of the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act of last December.

The ISPA is questioning the legality of the measures. Their doubts echo similar concerns from Europe's Data Protection Commissioners.

A letter to the Home Office from Nicholas Lansman, secretary general of the Internet Service Providers Association, said the government has failed to address industry concerns or make a convincing case for data retention.

"The document fails to provide details of the number of investigations that are currently compromised through lack of available data and assess whether this is detrimental to the public interest and national security," Lansman wrote in the letter, a copy of which was leaked to The Guardian. "The investigations cited refer to cases in which officers sought data older than 15 months and where there was no national security consideration involved."

Negotiations between government and service providers over the controversial measures appear to have broken down.

Faced with industry opposition, Home Secretary David Blunkett will have to decide whether to abandon the voluntary scheme - and make data retention mandatory. Powers to allow him to impose data retention against the will of ISPs are included in the Act.

At present, service providers only retain data for billing purposes, but that is set to change because of plans that ISPs retain data for up to two years, in the event of it becoming of interest in police or security service investigations into serious crime or terrorism.

This data would include catalogues of web sites visited, records of e-mail recipients, lists of telephone numbers dialled, and the geographical location of mobile phones at all times they were switched on. It doesn't include the contents of messages. ®

Related Stories

EU data protection chiefs oppose data retention moves
EU to force ISPs and telcos to retain data for one year
MEPs vote for Big Brother
World leaders use terror card to watch all of us. Forever
Spam out, cookies tolerated, data retention remains: EU

External Links

Early British law enforcement proposals for data retention

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.