UK government forces ISPs to keep email records

With what is being considered yet another attack on the right to privacy, all ISPs in the UK will be obliged to store information about emails, including spam, that people in the country receive and send.

The UK government already makes telephone companies maintain databases of all fixed and mobile calls, and now the information stored will include a timestamp and to/from details of each email. We reported on the UKs "spy database" in August last year, ISPs will be obliged to store the information from March onwards.

The reason? The Home Office believes such measures will help combat terrorism.

The monetary cost? In order to ensure compliance, ISPs will have to be paid, and the cost to taxpayers will top £25 million--money that University of Cambridge security expert Dr Richard Clayton believes could be better spent.

The cost in terms of liberty? Many argue that this will mean that people will be made to yield their right to privacy in one more area of their lives. David Carnegie, The Earl of Northesk and a Conservative peer, explains, "This degree of storage is equivalent to having access to every second, every minute, every hour of your life. People have to worry about the scale, the virtuality of your life being exposed to round about 500 public authorities. Under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, privacy is a fundamental right. . . it is important to protect the principle of privacy because once you've lost it it's very difficult to recover."

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27 Comments

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I sweaar to god one I can't wait to leave the UK and live somewhere where everyone isn't miserable like Denmark or Spain, what a **** hole of a country.

That government is out of control. You people in the UK will not even be able to take a **** without some guy down in your sewers catching each one and analyzing it. It's something new everyday and to see people write "it's not that bad. their only checking who emails are sent to." It's ok? Then if this is ok, what's next? And after that?

So technically, if Americans send an email to someone in the UK, the UK is illegally viewing/storing our email.

They're only storing to/from details and a timestamp. So unfortunately, I don't think you'd have much success with that.

Terrorism is starting to sound like a worth wild investment! :(

Seems they care more about me than my own government.

They're only tracking who sends an email to who. Nothing to get ****ed about. Like the article says, BT have done the same with phone calls for years.

Yes because with a simple From and To address, you can know exactly who is a terrorist and who isn't. Hell, if they signed up for a new email over SSL, it won't be tracked.

And my solution is simple, it breaks compatibility by loads but oh well, 2 days before this comes into effect, my servers non-SSL IMAP, HTTP, SMTP and POP3 services will be disabled and I'll leave the SSL variants running.

Innocent until proven guilty. Simply recording who people send an email to is assuming guilt - the assumption that some people have to be guilty and that it's then necessary to keep data on everyone. If you're can't see the serious implications to actions like this then you deserve no place in discussing politics. If they have a suspect then they should be able to request access to their future records but keeping a record of everything and digging it up is unacceptable.

It used to be that the government needed suspects and to carry out investigations - now they simply click a button on a database and go around arresting people. No thanks.

Unfortunately, if the police ask you for that password, then I believe that according to UK law, you've got to give it them. Under penalty of possible jailtime.

Its ridiculous anyway, as the fact people know they now trace phone calls and emails is the very reason terrorist will cease to use them. And so all it does is track innocent people.

Jackie Spliff the home secretary pushed this through without a vote by mp's.

I don't recall these types of measures when the I.R.A. were bombing London and Manchester.

This goes to show the weak immigration and deportation policy we have, the poor security we have and
the fact this government don't adhere to the human rights of the electorate.

They put terrorists before their own people.

I did tell you all this was going to happen in 2005 and I was ignored.

Britain is now the European China.

Jackie Spliff

ugh don't get me started on that woman. I've never hated any politician as much as her. She is the main reason I won't be voting Labour anytime soon.

Why does the govt think that the threat of terrorism gives them licence to impinge on our rights!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?
FFS in the UK there's been one successful fatal terrorist attack that killed about 50 ppl and injured a few hundred more and one unsuccessful attempt in HOW MANY years.
This govt says that we shouldn't yield to terrorism, yet that is EXACTLY what the govt is DOING. By taking away the rights of citizens the terrorists have won, because they made our stupid govt feel like they have to do things which they probably don't have to do to ensure our safety. Sometimes I think that this is one of the things that the terrorists wanted and set out to achieve.

What's more is that not just the police will have access to this database, local councils and the NHS will also be able to request information too. It just proves this is more for snooping than for security. The "terrorism" argument has become a government by fear method of pushing through draconian legislation.

What a sad day. I know you can say, if you've got nothing to hide blah blah but this is just a waste of money. The Government is a joke.

I'm starting to think that the governments have something to do with the terrorists themselves... What they're doing, everywhere around the globe... is just plain stupid if you think about it. We, the citizens, can't do anything because they do whatever they want... good or bad. They're destroying everything, freedom of speech, privacy and almost anything related to the society. I hate politicians.

So this all goes quiet for a while and now we find out that this is already going ahead, I am disgusted all phone calls and emails what will it be next?

This has started my day on a bad note it really has

i know that people say if you have nothing to hide why moan about it, but thats not the point, we have the right to our day-to-day privacy, all the while we are under this Labour Mob we will loose more and more

Exactly. This is just another incredible breach of privacy / freedom in the name of combating terrorism. Did we have these sorts of laws being passed when the IRA was active? No. However, now that we've had two completely amateur attacks that resulted in less deaths that a busy motorway in a week we have to sacrifice everything.

The Labour government can go to hell.