Feeds

ICO concerned over interception modernisation programme

Commissioner worried over gov plans to keep our data

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

Information commissioner Christopher Graham has said that he is concerned about government plans to allow enhanced storage of people's internet data.

Graham said his sceptical stance on the £2bn interception modernisation programme, which would allow the police and security services greater abilities to access the internet usage of everyone in Britain, remains the same as that set out in his 2009 consultation response.

Under the plans, internet service providers (ISPs) would hold information all of their customers' internet activities for a year, including webmail, messaging and social networking traffic, which would be made available to authorities and intelligence agents following a valid application.

This would require ISPs to install new technology, which they have said will be difficult and expensive. They already record "traffic data" on email and web usage, including the header information in emails and the domains of websites, which can be accessed by law enforcement organisations. In neither the new nor the existing plans would the content of communications be recorded wholesale.

A spokesperson for the Information Commissioner's office said: "On the face of it, the proposal seems disproportionate when any perceived benefits that might be gained from retaining this data are set against the risks to privacy involved.

"He looks forward to meeting with officials at the Home Office to establish whether or not his concerns have been addressed."

The coalition agreement promised to scrap the "surveillance state" plan and said it would "end the storage of internet and email records without good reason". However, the government's strategic defence and security review, published on 19 October 2010, disclosed its intentions to resurrect the Labour party's former project.

The defence and security review says that the programme is necessary to to keep up with changing technology and to protect the public.

The Labour government dropped a bill to set up the scheme last November after internet service providers and mobile phone companies expressed concerns about the strain of storing such a high volume of data, costs and privacy safeguards.

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet
Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
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.