Friday, June 15, 2012

UK - Optimistic estimate of £1.8Bn for costs of interception for the next decade to be met by government

The Guardian reports that HMG plans to spend £1.8bn over ten years for tracking emails, phone use and Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The Home Office has published the Communications Data Bill.

The Guardian notes:

Ministers have already agreed to pay all the costs of the scheme, which will require phone and internet companies to collect and store for 12 months the records of internet and mobile phone use in Britain for access by police and intelligence services.

The communications data that police and intelligence services may seek about an individual under the communications bill includes email addresses and phone numbers of people who have been in contact; when this happened; where; and the details giving the police records of suspects' associates and activities. It will remain the case that they will not be allowed to access the content of emails, texts, mobile calls and other confidential web use without a warrant signed by the home secretary.

[Home Secretary, Theresa] May defended the 550,000 individual requests for data each year made by security officials as a vital tool to catch serious criminals and terrorists.

The House of Lords is separately considering the admissibility of evidence from interception (see progress).

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