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U.K. Mulls Phone Call, E-Mail Database

The Times has reported that as part of a new Home Office plan to protect national security, government ministers are considering a scheme under which a database of all phone calls made and all e-mails sent will be created.

The plans are currently at a very early stage, but could be included in a draft of the Communications Data Bill, which is due later this year.

A Home Office spokesman revealed:

"The Communications Data Bill will help ensure that crucial capabilities in the use of communications data for counter-terrorism and investigation of crime continue to be available. These powers will continue to be subject to strict safeguards to ensure the right balance between privacy and protecting the public."

It’s claimed that the database will "ensure that public authorities can continue to obtain and have access to communications data essential for counter-terrorism and investigation of crime purposes."

However the Information Commissioner’s office has stated it can see no justification for such a database. Government agencies have done a poor job in protecting data, such as the loss of two unencrypted discs last year containing extensive details on almost half the British population. Opposition ministers have also attacked the plan.

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