The Register reports that Mobile networks line up to bash net snooping plan. El Reg has used FoI requests to obtain information related to the public consultation on the UK Government’s euphemistically named “Internet Modernisation Programme”, under which all ISPs were expected to eavesdrop and record information about their clients’ communications. Criticism has been severe enough to stall development of this vile and intrusive plan until after the next election. The Register reports that
The mobile operators variously attack IMP’s technical feasibility, its legality, its impact on customer privacy and its opaque £2bn cost estimate. They also question the consultation’s assertion that the ability to access records of all communications is essential for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to do their jobs.
The government asked mobile operators to comment on proposals that would compel them to intercept details of when and where each of their customers use third party communications services such as Facebook and Skype, as well who they contact. The operators would process and store this information in massive datacentres, matching it to build searchable profiles of customers and devices for authorities.
T-Mobile said they didn’t think that GCHQ would not be able to cope with the rate and scale of technological change on the internet – the GCHQ spies are widely thought to be the likely crew to implement Government funded deep packet inspection on a spectacularly grand scale.
Vodafone are reported to have said that “IMP would blur the legal distinction in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act between information about communications and what is actually said”, the difference lying in the requirement for a warrant for eavesdropping on the content.
Still and all, it’s a good day to see the plans for IMP implementation dropped till after the next election, though I don’t doubt that whichever party wins, be it Tory or Tory-Lite, will kick this back on the agenda.
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