Communications Data Bill – The Basics

With 2 billion people using the internet, and an amazing 6 billion people with a mobile phone, communications has taken a leap into a bold new era. The British government seems to agree, arguing that a communications data bill is needed. A draft has already been created, which might prove interesting, especially if you’re in the comms business:

What is it about?

It seems the government wants to make ISPs and mobile operators collate as much data as possible about its users. They would then keep this information for 12 months. This includes:

–          Calls

–          Text messages

–          Instant Messages

–          Games

–          Social Network posts

–          Email destinations



As of right now, communication companies can only keep information about who people are calling or sending messages to. The new bill would allow police to get permission to see the basic information about a person and their communications background.

This change stems from the claim that because of the vast amount of information kept by devices, police need to get at it quicker to aid investigations.

Also, a great deal of the services that the UK uses exists outside of the UK. So there is very little in a law-sense that the government can do to access external information. Therefore, the more access to UK based data, the better.

The real cost

While very possible to record all information that a person transmits through their various communication tools, it is also going to be an expensive thing to apply. Right now, the government is stating that it’s going to have a financial cost of almost £2 billion pounds, but many people are claiming the costs will certainly be more.