Feeds

Green light for spooks' net snoop plan

Imagine our surprise

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The coalition government has approved a multibillion-pound plan by the intelligence agencies to store details of every online conversation.

The reemerging Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) means internet providers will be forced to install interception equipment in their networks to capture details of who contacts whom, when, where and how via services such as Facebook, Skype, webmail, and online games.

Under the most likely scenario, Deep Packet Inspection technology will be configured by GCHQ to grab such data from passing traffic and store it in vast silos run by communications providers. The same technology will also allow for the content of communications to be intercepted, although this requires a warrant from the Home Secretary.

After the election the coalition said it would "end the storage of internet and e-mail records without good reason". But the Strategic Defence and Security Review shows ministers now believe the massive surveillance programme is necessary.

"We will introduce a programme to preserve the ability of the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to obtain communication data and to intercept communications within the appropriate legal framework," the Strategic Defence and Security Review says.

"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."

"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."

The language endorsing IMP, which was initially estimated to cost £2bn over 10 years, has not changed since the Labour government publicly backed away from it before the election.

The intelligence agencies have always insisted that blanket storage of communications data is required to maintain their capability to investigate crime and terrorism.

Despite the coalition's initial statements about IMP, politicians were never likely to scrap it. But you knew that already. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?
Wait 'til this one hits your pension fund where it hurts
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
UK.gov chucks £28m at F1 tech for buses and diggers plan
Well, not really F1 but who's heard of LMP and VLN*?
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.