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New UK Law: Internet data and telephony details now retained

Under new UK law which came into force on Monday, Internet service providers will be required to retain details of user internet access, internet telephony and email for a minimum of one year, and will also need to be able to respond to access requests by law enforcement and other authorities, according to an article over at zdnet.

Under the Data Retention Regulation 2009 law, details of UK citizens communications which include date and time of emails, caller and recipient of internet telephone calls, and websites people have or attempt to visit must be retained.

Furthermore, telecommunication companies are now required to keep details of all mobile and fixed telephony usage and to include the geographical location of the caller.

Apparently local government has used the new law to monitor people for taking out their bin and for dog fouling for which they have been criticised, and the Home Office has said legitimate use of the law would include such things as targeting fly tippers, noisy neighbours and “dodgy traders,” and that the retention of communications data is necessary for fighting crime and using as an anti-terrorist tool.

My personal take on this is it looks like the government just wants to keep an eye on everyone, see who they are calling, what websites they are using and generally being a Big Brother type… not good and encroaches on a person’s privacy I’d say.

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