Warning over phone calls database

  Seth Haniel 14:12 15 Jul 08
Locked

Mr Thomas said there should be full transparency over the plans
A central database holding details of everyone's phone calls and emails could be a "step too far for the British way of life", ministers have been warned.

Plans for such a database are rumoured to be in the Communications Data Bill.

But Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said "lines must be drawn" to defend "fundamental liberties".

He told the BBC he was not aware of such a database in any other democracy. He said there had also not been enough debate on the expanded DNA database.

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  georgemac © 15:00 15 Jul 08

I agree there should be full transparency over any plans for such a database.

A database for storing details or records of every email and phone call made in the UK would be huge, and on a scale I imagine no other database currently has - I would imagine this would be unrealistic? As to infringement of liberties, this would depend on what the database could be accessed for and by whom, but given the record of government IT projects the costs would be prohibitive compared to any benefit I would imagine. Would it not also be duplication as phone companies already keep records of phone calls?

The DNA database would be much more easily managed and have huge benefits for crime detection and is something I would/could support.

Now running for cover from civil libertarians!

  interzone55 15:08 15 Jul 08

As previously stated in other threads, this database already exists...

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  Forum Editor 15:41 15 Jul 08

No it doesn't - you've succumbed to an urban myth, as have so many others. What on earth makes you think that anyone is going to be the least bit interested in our calls to the local Pizza Hut, or our emails to our mates saying 'hey, check out this picture of Angelina's (insert word of choice)'?

Answer: nobody.

What we need is a DNA database - but one for our phone calls and emails would be a complete waste of time and money, and I don't expect to see it happening any time soon. It's a rumour, and this government would be barking if it decided to follow it through.

  Cymro. 15:49 15 Jul 08

Surely this is not a matter of liberty but of privacy?

  GANDALF <|:-)> 16:04 15 Jul 08

This is clearly absolute nonsense if you just think for a few seconds. If a database did exist there would be BILLIONS of calls in it. Who would sort all these calls and how long would it take? Clearly absolute cobblers.

Talk of 'invasion of privacy' is even more utter nonsense. If I wanted privacy I wouldn't use an open line system but then again I am not that self-important to believe that anyone would have the remotest interest in my dull calls.

G

  Mr Mistoffelees 16:29 15 Jul 08

FE: "What we need is a DNA database"

I think inclusion on a national DNA database should be compulsory for all.

When you are old enough to be, legally, criminally responsible, your DNA profile should be taken and added to the database.

Immigrants should also be added, after a qualifying period, if they are not leaving the country at that time.

  Chris the Ancient 16:42 15 Jul 08

I would be pretty sure that anyone who transmits 'sensitive' emails (crooks, terrorists, government departments (I hope) etc. will use encryption?

After all, PGP is free and, to all intents and purposes, impregnable.

Certainly, if I ever needed to transmit highly sensitive emails, I would use encryption.

And as for phone calls, would a miscreant really use their own phone for conversing on how they were going to commit their crime? If they did, they deserve to get nicked - even without a database.

CtA

  Forum Editor 17:15 15 Jul 08

Crim number one goes into a phone shop and buys a PAYG phone, giving a false name and address.

He then phones crim number two and they arrange to meet to discuss their next project. They meet, they discuss, they agree on some code words or phrases that will be used in phone conversations. They continue to plan the 'project' via the PAYG phone(s) using the code phrase, and once it's done they sling the phone(s) in the nearest river.

Job done, and nobody has any calls on any database that will be in any way meaningful, or could identify the callers in any way.

We have far more important things to be spending our money on in our country than daft ideas like a phone and email database, and I confidently predict that it will not happen on my watch.

  Chris the Ancient 18:20 15 Jul 08

D'accord.

  Jim Thing 19:45 15 Jul 08

They'll never get it to work in any case.

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