UK security services want personal data from sites like Facebook

The British government is drawing up plans to give the police and security and intelligence agencies new powers to access personal data held by internet services, including social network sites such as Facebook and Bebo and gaming networks.The move, heralded in this morning’s speech on international terrorism by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, is prompted by concern that criminals and terrorists are using websites as a way of concealing their communications, according to Whitehall security sources.At present, security and intelligence agencies can demand to see telephone and email traffic from traditional communications services providers (CSPs), which store the personal data for business purposes such as billing. to store records of all calls, e-mail and internet visits
Government proposals to “collect and store” records of every phone call, e-mail and internet visit in Britain were announced by the Home Secretary today, who said the move was necessary to counter the growing terrorist threat.Jacqui Smith said that communications data of the sort which helped convict Soham killer Ian Huntley and the July 7 bombers was not being routinely stored, and that without increasing their capacity to store data, the police and security services would have to consider a “massive expansion of surveillance”.

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