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PM Preps UK ISP Data Retention - KCOM Ready

Posted: 16th May, 2008 By: MarkJ
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has outlined his proposals for the Communications Data Bill, which includes plans to implement the EU Directive on the retention of communications data into UK law (2006/24/EC) and to modify the procedures for acquiring communications data and to allow this data to be retained.

UK telecom operators are already required to keep phone call logs for one year under the government’s existing data retention laws. This typically refers to phone numbers, customer name and address details, any number dialled, the date and time of a call and the telephone service used; not the calls content.

However, the new rules do not yet apply to UK ISP's, which means that your e-mails, website and VoIP call history aren’t logged. Sadly, under EU guidelines, these rules must be extended to Internet providers by 15th March 2009. Today it’s been reported that KCOM Group Plc (formerly Kingston Communications), which operates UK ISPs Karoo and Eclipse Internet, is among the first providers to be fully compliant with the new rules.

To do this KCOM has deployed CopperEye’s Greenwich data management technology, which should satisfy their data retention and disclosure requirements without costing the earth. In a statement KCOM said:

"Due to its appliance approach, we have been able to implement a cost effective fully resilient and distributed solution," said Gareth Niblett, Head of Information Security, KCOM Group, "Further, we were able to meet our data retention requirements with minimal risk and modification to our vital business systems and with minimum distraction from our core business objectives. This would not have been possible with alternative approaches."

Naturally the new directive has caused a lot of concern, with many consumers and privacy groups worried about the state having too much access to their personal communications. Meanwhile ISPs, especially at the smaller end of the scale, have been concerned about the costs of implementing such a system.
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