New e-mail law ‘is an attack on civil liberties’

by Murad Ahmed, Technology Reporter, and Richard Ford, Home Correspondent – Times Online

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“Upcoming rules that force internet companies to hold details of every e-mail sent in Britain are a waste of money and an attack on privacy, according to a prominent security expert.

From March, all internet service providers (ISPs) will have to keep data about e-mails sent and received in the UK for a year. The content of individual e-mails will not be kept by the authorities, but the timing and number of each communication will be stored.

At the moment, a similar database of telephone records – fixed and mobile – is held by telephone companies. The implementation of an EU directive, agreed after the alleged plot in August 2006 to set off bombs aboard transatlantic airlines, will extend the information available to the Government to include e-mail and internet traffic.

The Government will reportedly have to pay the ISPs more than £25 million to ensure the law is obeyed. ”

Full story: Times Online

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