'Big Brother' database for phones and e-mails

A massive government database holding details of every phone call, e-mail and time spent on the internet by the public is being planned as part of the fight against crime and terrorism. Internet service providers (ISPs) and telecoms companies would hand over the records to the Home Office under plans put forward by officials.

The information would be held for at least 12 months and the police and security services would be able to access it if given permission from the courts.

The proposal will raise further alarm about a "Big Brother" society, as it follows plans for vast databases for the ID cards scheme and NHS patients.

There will also be concern about the ability of the Government to manage a system holding billions of records. About 57 billion text messages were sent in Britain last year, while an estimated 3 billion e-mails are sent every day.

View: Times Online

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19 Comments

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Ha! This is the (un)United Kingdom! It sounds to me much like the 1970's - satellite pictures which could read the newspaper over your shoulder. It turned out to be one big lie. Then it was CCTV cameras everywhere to watch for anti social behavior, and kids bought "hoodies" and the cameras were used to fine motorists! How will the UK government use all the dross they are going to collect, and how many more public sector workers employed? George Orwell saw it all!

It is my opinion that these databases already exist. The only thing that has changed is that there is now a requirement for this information to be made available for use in legal situations; hence this announcement. Is anybody really naive enough to think that our governments don't "spy" on us?

For once people in the UK can't say "Only in America"... :P that seriously sucks though, they do they care how long you where online

I can handle ID cards, I really don't have a problem with that, but the idea of the government having records of every single call I make, every single email and text I send is a serious breach of privacy.

this has got to be the funniest and perhaps the annoying thing i have read for a while.

So the govenment is gonna spend loads of tax payer cash on a worthless database when they should be spending that money on fixing and getting togeather a Medical / NHS database which would be far more worthwhile.

I find it incredible that for a small island if i walk into any hospital they can't simply tap in my name and get basic let alone large amounts of information on my medical history.

Damn government, ill be glad when someone else gets in.

I'm not sure what is worse!

The actual terrorism and crime that they are trying in vain to stop...

...or their "1984 + V For Vendetta" ways of monitoring and spying on civilians and blatantly breaking privacy laws!

Conspiracy theorists have known this for years... yet theyre all crazy and paranoid! :rolleyes:

but it's ok... it's all about "freedom", "democracy", and "terrorism"

Oh what's the matter? It's for security and freedom! Yay! Oh wait, that would be it in the U.S.; The British Lizards are making no secret of its intentions there.

Meanwhile all of you sit on your asses, complain and comment on teh Interweb without doing **** against what your government is doing to you, waiting for that big change in politics that never happens. Hey, go outside and wave and smile into that CCTV cam, will ya? :p

The proposal will raise further alarm about a “Big Brother” society

Yea, because that's not the case yet...

Unbelievable how this can be allowed to happen. All we have to do now is wait until they send some phone records in the post on a couple of CD-R's for it to get criticised by the media!

were will it end :<. what next little microchips in our arms and barcodes so every move we make is logged somewere. if i take to many pees they will send me a bill for wasting water etc ffs:<. this needs to stop now..

(TheReaperMan said @ #5)
were will it end :<. what next little microchips in our arms and barcodes so every move we make is logged somewere. if i take to many pees they will send me a bill for wasting water etc ffs:<. this needs to stop now..

Read the Bible and you'll know exactly where we are headed.


Whew, I'm glad that is in Europe and not the US! :P

(LipSmacker said @ #5.1)

Read the Bible and you'll know exactly where we are headed.


Whew, I'm glad that is in Europe and not the US! :P ;)

Well the U.S. just haven't admitted to doing the same thing but you know they do and they don't have to tell anyone about it. They're probably selling the technology used to gather and manage so much data. They even famously fried their entire computer system in 2000 as they were so overwhelmed with the data they were trying to sort through the info in their queues.

So the government is going to log every second of the year I spent watching porn, every "lol" and "lmao" text message I send/receive, and every love-sick puppy conversation I have with the better half on the phone...

... Sounds like my tax money hard at work. Why does the government consider each member of the public a terrorist by default? I'm not going to blow up the world, and even if I was going to, I wouldn't use electronic forms of communication knowing this!

... And how is this database going to handle email spam? I'm pretty sure there's a big hole in the plan right there.

The only people benefiting from schemes like this are companies that make encryption software. I can't wait for the government to change, New Labour have just ****ed this country

Oh I get it, the trick is not to give programs like this big brother sounding names. We all remember the Department of Defences attempt at this in the US: Total Informational Awareness. You just give it some bland name and it passes through the British legislature without a hassle - awesome.

"There will also be concern about the ability of the Government to manage a system holding billions of records."

Concern about the ability to handle this? They can't handle squat now, without screwing everything up!!