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ISPs could be forced to track their customers' usage

Think Phorm was bad? The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, is pushing forward for a number of fundamental changes to the Communications Data Bill that could transform ISPs and Communications companies into snooping powerhouses.

The changes will make it compulsory for those companies to monitor and keep logs of their customers' usage to fight terrorism, to detect and prevent crime; which means that the police forces will have access to that data.

The bill, if passed by parliament, will mean that UK will comply with the EU Directive 2006/24/EC which deals with the retention of communications data including internet usage and phone calls.

In a statement, the government added that "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".

However, criminals and terrorists are already a step ahead and could use an array of techniques to defeat any surveillance like encryption, PAYG phones as well as piggy-backing on wireless networks.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.