LSE Says Broadband Snooping Plans Unworkable

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LSE Says Broadband Snooping Plans Unworkable

Plans made by the UK government to store information on broadband users email accesses and websites visited are ‘unworkable’ in their present state according to the LSE – The London School of Economics and Political Science.

The plans are part of the government’s Interception Modernisation Programme which aims to crack down on terrorism and other criminal acts.

Understanding how terrorists use the internet to communicate with each other is obviously going to be advantageous in the war against terror, however, the government will have to persuade the public that the £2 billion cost over a ten year period is worthwhile – not to mention the personal intrusion.

The Interception Modernisation Programme will store information for up to a year in a database. It will contain information from all broadband internet users, not just suspicious individuals.

Current legislation will be tweaked to allow this, but the LSE claims more laws need to be passed if this will truly work.

The Professor of Information Systems and Innovation Group at LSE, Peter Sommer, said, “The Home Office are right to be concerned about the impact on investigations of the ways in which criminals and others may use the internet. However, they are wrong to think that this can be done by light tinkering with existing legislation”.

Mr Sommer continued, “We are also concerned that the Home Office is characterising its aims as maintaining an interception capability when police powers and capabilities to watch the public have increased significantly over the last 15 years. We need a full debate about the balance between threats to public safety, police powers, the effectiveness of safeguards and cost.”

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