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Slow progress on UK's email-tracking database

Privacy concerns hold up government plans


Security Minister Lord West has told the House of Lords that no decision has been made on the creation of a database containing details of phone calls and emails sent in the UK.

Speculation about the creation of the database - which could hold details of phone numbers dialled and websites visited, among other things - has been rife since earlier this year when the government revealed that it planned to "modify procedures for acquiring communications data" in the Communications Data Bill.

However, Security Minister Lord West told the House of Lords this week: "It is very early days as to where we go on this".

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas has already warned that the database may be a "step too far for the British way of life". While he agreed that "targeted and duly authorised" interception of communications by terrorists and other suspects could be "invaluable" he also urged Brits to "stand up" for their "fundamental liberties".

"Do we really want the police, security services and other organs of the state to have access to more and more aspects of our private lives," he added.

See also: Gov't told to stop collecting citizens' data


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