We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

UK internet snooping won't help catch criminals

Gov't admits super database not much use

The Home Office has admitted that plans to allow public bodies to snoop through records of internet activity and VoIP calls is unlikely to help catch those behind organised crime, reports Silicon.com.

Under new proposals announced this week telecommunications companies will be required to keep records of internet activity and VoIP calls for 12 months a move that will cost the taxpayer £46m. Public bodies such as the police and health authorities will be able to request access to the information if it will help uncover criminals or threats to public safety.

However, a spokeswoman for the Home Office admitted serious criminals or terrorist organisations would be likely to disguise their communication by simply logging on using unregistered 3G dongles, third-party wi-fi networks or sending email using a secure tunnel and proxy.

"The serious criminals may be far more savvy than your normal Joe Blow and the information we collect [for them] is not going to be of the same calibre," the spokeswoman told Silicon.com.

But she said the measures would be worth it if they were to provide evidence that helped convict even one person suspected of a "serious crime".

See also:

Gov't could track all emails and phone calls

Govt spends £18m snooping on emails and calls

IDG UK Sites

Sky to offer mobile phone contracts with O2: Will Vodafone make a move?

IDG UK Sites

Windows 10: a guaranteed success. Probably.

IDG UK Sites

Do we need to fight the government again over design and art education?

IDG UK Sites

How to make money selling books on the iBookstore, publish your book in Apple's book store