MPs call for government to drop phone and e-mail data retention proposals

A cross-party group of MPs has urged the government to abandon controversial plans that force telephone and internet companies to...

A cross-party group of MPs has urged the government to abandon controversial plans that force telephone and internet companies to make records of the public's phone calls and internet activities available to the police and government agencies.

Home Office proposals for a voluntary scheme of data retention, requiring phone companies and internet service providers to store communications data for up to a year would result in "inevitable failure", the all-party Internet Group said.

The MPs urged the government to follow the US by dropping demands for the mass-retention of communications data, in favour of a data preservation scheme, that would preserve only those records needed for criminal investigations.

The recommendations follow concerns that the government's data retention proposals - introduced after the 11 September attacks taken together with existing communications monitoring laws - amount to an irreconcilable breach of human rights law.

The government has also come under fire from internet service providers who believe the data retention proposals will leave them open to legal challenges. They are also concerned that the high costs of storing and retrieving data will not be met with adequate financial support from government.

The MPs urge the government to rethink its approach, and to work with law enforcement agencies and European governments to develop an alternative approach based on data preservation.

"We do not believe that it is practical to retain all communications data on the off-chance that it will be useful one day," the MPs say in a 40-page report.

Data preservation has already shown to be successful in the UK, with the police congratulating phone and internet companies for voluntarily retaining communications data for the police following the 11 September attacks.

Data preservation is less burdensome and less costly to business and consumers as well as being less harmful to public confidence, the MPs argue.

The government should resist the temptation to solve the problems with its voluntary data retention scheme by making the scheme compulsory. This would do immense damage to communication service providers and would not achieve the goals of law enforcement, the report said.

Read the report >>

Read more on E-commerce technology

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCIO

SearchSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

  • How do I size a UPS unit?

    Your data center UPS sizing needs are dependent on a variety of factors. Develop configurations and determine the estimated UPS ...

  • How to enhance FTP server security

    If you still use FTP servers in your organization, use IP address whitelists, login restrictions and data encryption -- and just ...

  • 3 ways to approach cloud bursting

    With different cloud bursting techniques and tools from Amazon, Zerto, VMware and Oracle, admins can bolster cloud connections ...

SearchDataManagement

Close