Feeds

UK gov issued 250k snoop licences in nine months

Regulator says system working beautifully

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The regulator for Britain's snoopers has released a report covering the last nine months of 2006, painting a panglossian picture of a period which saw a quarter of a million intercepts.

From 11 April to 31 December 2006 there were 253,557 requests for communication data. In the same period there were only 1,088 errors - mostly due to incorrectly-written phone numbers.

The Interception of Communications Commissioner Sir Paul Kennedy said he saw no reason to change the current law, and indeed had only met one person while doing his job who has a different opinion. There has been some debate as to if intercepted information should be permitted as court evidence.

Kennedy makes visits to the Security Services, Secret Intelligence Service, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the Met, HMRC, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office and Scottish Office among other agencies. He gets a complete list of all requests made by the relevant agency, then picks a random selection of warrants to check they have been properly filed.

He has also informally visited 11 communication and internet service providers. He said ISPs welcome these visits, and that "those... who work in this field have great enthusiasm in their work. They recognise the importance of it in the public interest, and the necessity of doing all their work accurately and efficiently."

Local authorities vary widely in their use of communications data. Some 474 local authorities can get phone tap and other comms data, but in the period only 122 used that power. Those 122 authorities made 1,694 requests to identify rogue traders, fly tippers and housing benefit cheats.

Kennedy said he was impressed by the "striking successes" helped by interception. Kennedy said: "It has played a key role in numerous operations including, for example, the prevention of murders, tackling large-scale drug importations, evasion of Excise duty, people smuggling, gathering intelligence both within the United Kingdom and overseas on terrorist and various extremist organisations, confiscation of firearms, serious violent crime and terrorism."

Bootnote: To clarify - the figure of 253, 557 is requests for communications data - i.e who you phoned, when they phoned you and how long they phoned you for, as defined by RIPA. It could also include subscriber information and associated addresses. It is not an actual phone tap - a recording of your conversation - or "intercept product".®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.