Tuesday, 28 April 2009

British Crap Media Data Face Punch Modernisation

If there's one thing that's invariable about the British media it's that they're shit at their job. Which is why I have to keep repeating myself.

Read this:
Communications firms are being asked to record all internet contacts between people as part of a modernisation in UK police surveillance tactics.

The home secretary scrapped plans for a database but wants details to be held and organised for security services.

The new system would track all e-mails, phone calls and internet use, including visits to social network sites.

The Tories said the Home Office had "buckled under Conservative pressure" in deciding against a giant database.

Announcing a consultation on a new strategy for communications data and its use in law enforcement, Jacqui Smith said there would be no single government-run database.

"Communications data is an essential tool for law enforcement agencies to track murderers and paedophiles, save lives and tackle crime." Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary

But she also said that "doing nothing" in the face of a communications revolution was not an option.

The Home Office will instead ask communications companies - from internet service providers to mobile phone networks - to extend the range of information they currently hold on their subscribers and organise it so that it can be better used by the police, MI5 and other public bodies investigating crime and terrorism.
That's from the BBC.

Firstly, this makes it appear that the government has chosen getting ISPs to hold personal data as an alternative option to its proposed central database and that the whole project is simply a government policing initiative.

Secondly, it ignores the fact that the government has already instituted legislation requiring ISPs to store this data.

Thirdly, it ignores the fact that the government instituted the legislation in order to comply with the EU's directive on data retention (Directive 2006/24/EC).

Abd fourthly, the press (unless I am getting as stupid as them) are conflating and confusing existing EU legislation with the government's own extension of these requirements (the Intercept Modernisation Programme), and falling for government spin.

The government has been keeping very quiet about all of this and the media, unfortunately, have aided it by being useless at reporting things properly (or even reporting it at all).


Tony Hirst said...

If you can annotate the communications data consultation with links to legislation that already or in part implement things that are being suggested in the consultation, it'd be really useful if you could post those annotations as comments to the consultation doc as republished on WriteToReply:

Or write a blog post detailing the legislation and link back to the appropriate paragraphs of the consultation (each paragraph has a unique URI, and we can pull your comments in via a trackback)

Chief of the Inner Station said...

Many thanks for the comment. I shall annotate the Right to Reply site in due course. In the meantime I am posting a list of relevant details here.