Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Intercept Modernisation Programme to Include Social Networks

Following the implementation of the EU Data Retention Directive requiring member states to retain communication traffic information for law enforcement, the U.K. developed the "Intercept Modernisation Programme".
"The Home Office already has plans to log details of all phone calls, emails and websites visited by web users in the UK, as part of a grander scheme, a massive "mother of all databases" under the "Intercept Modernisation Programme" umbrella."
The Home Office is now looking at expanding beyond the EU Directive to include communications between users of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter:
"The Home Office minister Vernon Coaker told MPs that the fact that the EU Data Retention Directive lacks some features is "why the Government is looking at what we should do about the intercept modernisation programme because there are certain aspects of communications which are not covered by the directive."
This, of course, is stirring a significant debate on civil liberties. However, when investigating large-scale crimes involving the Internet (and especially international activity), traffic analysis of communications is probably the single best investigative tool available and this is one of the arguments put forth by proponents of the activity:
"The government said that it will not be interested in what is being discussed but rather who talks to whom online, something that the government says is vital in preventing criminals and terrorists' communicating facilities."

As an aside:

The keywords "Intercept Modernisation Programme" generates more traffic to this blog than any other so I'm always interested in performing traffic analysis on the spike after an article on the subject is posted. Historically, over 80% of traffic can be traced to U.K. defense or other governmental contractors.

UK Government Plans To Monitor Social Networking Websites

Social network sites 'monitored'

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