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Communications firms forced to log internet use

Karl Flinders

Prime Minister Gordon Brown this week proposed a law that will mean communications companies will have to keep logs of internet usage and make this information available to the police.

This follows similar laws concerning telephone data. If passed by parliament the bill will complete the UK adoption of the EU Directive 2006/24/EC on the retention of communications data.

The Communications Data Bill has been proposed in the government's draft legislation programme for 2008/09. It was one of 18 proposed Bills which could become law if they pass through Parliament.

The proposed bill aims to use communications data such as information on the internet and e-mails to fight crime and protect national security, according to the government.

The government said communications data plays a key role in counter-terrorism investigations, the prevention and detection of crime and protecting the public.

In October the government forcedtelcos to keep records of phone calls which will be extended to records of internet, e-mail usage and voice over IP records if the legislation is passed.

"The Bill would bring the legislative framework on access to communications data up to date with changes taking place in the telecommunications industry and the move to using Internet Protocol core networks," it said in a statement. "Unless the legislation is updated to reflect these changes, the ability of public authorities to carry out their crime prevention and public safety duties and to counter these threats will be undermined."

A spokesman said there could be amendments to the proposed bill.





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