TechnologyAccounting SoftwareHome Office to enforce ISP snooping

Home Office to enforce ISP snooping

The government is to press ahead with plans to make internet service providers retain communication traffic data, despite opposition from MPs.

Link: MPs reject data retention plans

A report by the All Party Internet Group said government plans to force ISPs to retain traffic data in order to aid law enforcement agencies, needed rethinking.

The APIG report said it was not ‘practical to retain all communications data on the off-chance that it will be useful one day’.

MPs in the group demanded the government scraps its plans to set up a voluntary scheme for data retention. APIG believes data preservation orders would be more appropriate.

Under current proposals, ISPs will be forced to save all traffic data. Under APIG’s data preservation scheme, ISPs would only store information when requested to do so by the police.

But the Home Office is pressing ahead with a voluntary scheme and has produced proposals which it hopes will prove acceptable to industry. Home Office minister Bob Ainsworth said ‘data retention is necessary’ to combat the continuing threat from terrorists.

At the public hearing, ISP AOL claimed that it would cost $40m (£26m) to set up a system to retain internet traffic data and $14m a year to run.

But Ainsworth dismissed the figures, saying the costs of retaining data had been greatly exaggerated.

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