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British Government Plan Internet Data Interception

The UK government's Strategic Defence and Security Review includes plans to force ISPs, and possibly companies, to store all email and internet use data for a year of more.

The plans in the document call for legislation "to preserve the ability of the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to obtain communication data and to intercept communications."

"Communications data provides evidence in court to secure convictions of those engaged in activities that cause serious harm. It has played a role in every major Security Service counter¬terrorism operation and in 95 per cent of all serious organised crime investigations.

The plans call for ISPs to be responsible for storing the data but similar plans have also put an onus on companies to store their own records in case of investigation or litigation. Last year the London School of Economics published research suggesting that the cost of such as scheme could be £2bn.

In its Coalition Agreement the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats had said that the excercise of storing email and online activity would be stopped without good reason.

"One of the early and welcome promises of the new Government was to 'end the blanket storage of internet and email records,' Isabella Sankey, director of policy at Liberty, told The Daily Telegraph.

"Any move to amass more of our sensitive data and increase powers for processing would amount to a significant U-turn. The terrifying ambitions of a group of senior Whitehall technocrats must not trump the personal privacy of law abiding Britons."

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