Home » International News » 2012 » February » February 19, 2012

UK govt to store people's phone call, messages, e-mail details under new anti-terror plan

February 19, 2012 - London

The British government has planned to store the details of every phone call, text message, email traffic and websites visited online as a part of its new anti-terror plans.

Under the new scheme to counter-terrorism, landline and mobile phone companies and broadband providers will be ordered to store the data for a year and make it available to the security services.

The databases would not record the contents of calls, texts or emails, but the numbers or email addresses of who they are sent and received by, The Telegraph reports.his will be the first time that the security services in the country would have widespread access to information about who has been communicating with each other on social networking sites like Facebook.

Direct messages between subscribers to websites such as Twitter would also be stored, as well as communications between players in online video games, the report said.

The plan has been drawn up on the advice of MI5, the home security service, MI6, which operates abroad, and GCHQ, the Government's "listening post" responsible for monitoring communications.

Under the scheme the security services would be granted "real time" access to phone and Internet records of people they want to put under surveillance, as well as the ability to reconstruct their movements through the information stored in the databases.

According to the paper, the move is certain to cause controversy over civil liberties, but would also raise concerns over the security of the records.

Access to such information would be highly prized by hackers and could be exploited to send spam email and texts.

Details of which websites people visit could also be exploited for commercial gain.


Comment on this story