Feeds

UK government won't be keeping mobile database

Leave that to the network operators

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Home Office has responded to a petition against plans for state registration of mobile phones, by pointing out that the state has no such plans.

The petition, on the Number 10 website, was set up by a chap from Privacy International and closed in October last year with 266 signatures. In November the Home Office published a consultation about how far a government should go in monitoring communications, and has now closed the petition by pointing out that mandatory registration of mobile phones was not part of that consultation.

But the response is a little too explicit for our liking - "The Government has no plans to require owners of mobile phones to be registered with statutory authorities", says the Home Office statement closing the petition, pointing out that the consultation "rejected an option for a single database holding all communications data".

So no "single database", or requirement to register with "statutory authorities", but that doesn't mean that those using pre-paid mobile phones will continue to be anonymous forever.

Most countries require anyone buying a pre-paid phone to present identification, but that information is held by the network operators (and made available to the police on request). In the UK one can still buy a SIM anonymously, but the network operators don't like it for purely commercial reasons: it's hard to up sell to someone you don't know, not to mention the issues around child protection (it's hard for an anonymous customer to prove their age, and thus network operators block anything remotely dodgy, such as Flickr, by default).

So operators would be unlikely to object to mandatory registration of pre-paid mobile accounts. In response to the petition the Home Office states it won't be running a database of mobile phone numbers, but why would it when the government can just ask the network operators to take on the role should it feel so inclined? ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.