UK Plans Massive Phone, E-Mail Database

The UK is planning a massive government database that will hold the details of every phone call, e-mail and time spent on the Internet by the public.

The information is to be held for twelve months; police and security services would be able to access the database, upon receiving permission from the courts.

A variety of officials expressed concern about whether or not having all this information in one place will improve security, or degrade it.

David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, said: “Given [ministers’] appalling record at maintaining the integrity of databases holding people’s sensitive data, this could well be more of a threat to our security, than a support.”

Some experts are also doubtful about whether or not it will be feasible to maintain such a large amount of information in one place.

Philip K. Dick discussed the problems of seriously being able to keep track of every last piece of information - and process it - in his novel A Scanner Darkly:

"Just tell me," Fred said, "was it the Lions Club speech that alerted you?"

"No," the standing one said finally. "It had to do with an exchange that was - actually - off the cuff, in fact, just bullshitting between you and Hank. About two weeks ago... you realize, there's a technological lag in processing all this garbage, all this raw information that flows in. They haven't gotten to your speech yet. They won't in fact for another couple of days."

Is it possible for a national government to have fetishistic interest in surveillance?

From Times Online via our friends at Frolix_8.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/20/2008)

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