Is The UK Really Looking To Spy On All Browsing Habits, Emails And Phone Calls?

from the seems-a-bit-extreme dept

There's not much in the way of detail, and our UK readers have pointed out in the past that The Times Online is hardly the most reputable of newspapers in the UK, but it's reporting that the UK government is considering spending £12 billion on a system to spy on the internet browsing histories, emails and phone calls of everyone in the UK. That seems almost too ridiculous to be true, so consider us to be skeptical that this is actually what's happening -- but we'll mention it here with the link back to the source to see if some of our readers can fill us in on the details (or lack of details, as the case may be).
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: eavesdropping, spying, tapping, uk


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Joseph Young, 6 Oct 2008 @ 12:42pm

    Yes!

    The basis of the story is certainly correct. If you want more details and links to other publications that might meet with more approval from the Techdirt readers, you can look at the Intercept Modernisation page on The Open Rights Group’s wiki.

    The Times’ article is new in giving a much higher total financial cost and the names of two network providers. The figure of £12 billion may not be correct and is an order of magnitude higher than previous figures I’ve seen. However, given the spiralling costs of the National ID Card and Database, it may not be as far out as it currently appears. Also, it’s not clear how many years of costs this represents.

    If you were to just guess at one fixed-line and one network provider, you’d go with BT and Vodafone. It would be logical to start with the largest providers that are not owned by foreign companies.

    Picking up on Mike Allen’s comment about email signatures, it should be remembered that it’s not the content that is to be stored. It will be one complete, centralised database of web hosts accessed, who has emailed whom, who has telephoned whom, over the past two years. So, slightly different to the TOM-Skype database. That also records content, but doesn’t include every communication.


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.