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Government Criticised Over Big Brother Plans To Track Phones and Emails

The current government's cravings for data has been disclosed after home office plans revealed that a giant government database will be holding details of every phone call, email and time spent on the internet by UK citizens, in an apparent bid to combat terrorist.

Under the announced plans, Internet Service Providers and Telecommunications companies would have to comply to the law and feed the database with the required details which would then be held for at least one year.

Although at a very early stage, the scheme is also said to give access to various bodies like the police and security services; they would then be able to sift through the mountain of data, although they would have to be granted permission by the courts.

Critics have already attacked the project, especially after the recent data losses and how the government handled the subsequent privacy debacles.

The plans also highlights the huge challenges that lie ahead; 80 billion text messages and 1.2 trillion emails are being sent every year in the UK which will necessitate dozen of Terabytes of storage space.

The issues of cost and data transfer will also certainly be a major obstacle to the implementation of this super database.

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.