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Brits consider tracking all social networking traffic

Posted by James Hammerton @ 9:44 pm on 20 March, 2009.
Categories privacy and surveillance, British politics, the database state.
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ZDNet reports:

The UK government is considering the mass surveillance and retention of all user communications on social-networking sites including Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo.

Home Office security minister Vernon Coaker said on Monday that the EU Data Retention Directive, under which ISPs must store communications data for 12 months, does not go far enough. Communications such as those on social networking sites and instant messaging could also be monitored, he said.

“Social-networking sites, such as MySpace or Bebo, are not covered by the directive,” said Coaker, speaking at a meeting of the House of Commons Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee. “That is one reason why the government are looking at what we should do about the Intercept Modernization Program, because there are certain aspects of communications which are not covered by the directive.”

Under the EU Data Retention Directive, from the March 15, 2009, all UK internet service providers (ISPs) are required to store customer traffic data for a year. The Intercept Modernization Program (IMP) is a government proposal, introduced last year, for legislation to use mass monitoring of traffic data as an anti-terrorism tool. The IMP has two strands: that the government use deep packet inspection to monitor the web communications of all UK citizens; and that all of the traffic data relating to those communications are stored in a centralized government database.

Why is our government so keen on subjecting everyone to such surveillance?

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