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Government Decides To Carry On With Web-Monitoring Proposals

In spite of serious outcry over the government’s rigid stance to deal with online file-sharers, the UK government has decided to go on with its erstwhile plans to compel all communication service providers (CSPs) to hold details of all types of communications running through their networks.

In its response to a consultation on web monitoring that kicked off back in April, the government reiterated the plans to force CSPs to store communication details on their networks, such as who’s contacting with whom, where, and when.

Under its interception modernisation programme (IMP), the government seeks the CSPs to gather and store comprehensive details of all forms of web communications, including those on social networking sites, such as Facebook, as well as in gaming and virtual reality domains, and instant messaging.

The IMP, with a cost of £2 billion over the period of 10 years, comes as the latest initiative by the government to crack down hard on terrorism and other felonious activities in the country.

As of now, the police can intercept communication channels in order to tackle crime or in the interests of national security, but such type of interception has predominantly been restricted to telephonic communications, and communications over the web are still pretty much immune against such interceptions.

Home Office minister David Hanson said: “Communications data is crucial to the fight against crime and in keeping people safe. It is a highly technical area and one which demands a fine balance between privacy and maintaining the capabilities of the police and security services”.

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 ITProPortal.com 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.