UK ISPs must implement data retention

Eugen Leitl eugen at
Thu Mar 12 10:56:45 PDT 2009

(I'm shocked, Schocked, SCHOCKED!!!111eleven!) 

ISPs must comply with snooping law from Sunday

Service providers will have to provide customer records on demand

Written by Tom Young

Computing, 11 Mar 2009

UK ISPs will be required to hand over records of customersb internet surfing
habits, including IP addresses and times of use, to police and intelligence
agencies from Sunday.

As part of the EU Data Retention Directive, all ISPs must retain customersb
names, addresses and user IDs, as well as records of email and internet
telephony communications, for a year.

ISPs have been given an extra 18 months to comply with the regulations after
some smaller providers complained of a heavy administrative burden B- phone
companies are already subject to the law.

The Internet Service Providersb Association said most firms are ready for the
legislation. bWe have made our members aware of what is required and as far
as we know they will all be compliant,b said a spokesman.

The legislation builds on existing voluntary arrangements the companies have
with law enforcement agencies in the UK where information is freely provided.

The UK ISP industry has always maintained that the existing voluntary
agreement was adequate and that the legislation would impose a
disproportionate financial burden.

But some providers in foreign countries have not been so quick to co-operate,
and the European Commission felt legislation was needed as terrorist
organisations are increasingly using the internet as a communication tool.

ISPs in Ireland and Slovakia have tried to bring legal cases to prevent the
laws being implemented, but have been unsuccessful.

Some respondents to the UKbs consultation on implementing the directive said
they had had little or no dialogue with the Home Office concerning the
complex issues of retaining data B- the Home Office has since set up an
implementation group to help them comply.

And as a further olive branch to the industry, the government has said it
will meet the additional costs of complying with regulations.

The data must be kept in a form that is easily accessible to law enforcement,
but can only be disclosed in relation to specific cases B- meaning that
agencies will not get free access to the records without providing a reason.

The Home Office said the laws for ISPs would be formally introduced on 6

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