Government web-monitoring plans on hold

Government plans to compel ISPs to process and store details of all web communications have been put on hold until after the next election.The Home Office told ZDNet UK on Wednesday that the plans, called both the Interception Modernisation Programme [IMP] and Mastering the Internet, would very likely not be put into law until after the next general election in May 2010.

Government plans to compel ISPs to process and store details of all web communications have been put on hold until after the next election.

The Home Office told ZDNet UK on Wednesday that the plans, called both the Interception Modernisation Programme [IMP] and Mastering the Internet, would very likely not be put into law until after the next general election in May 2010.

"It would be fair to say that [IMP] is not in the legislative programme for this session," said a Home Office spokesperson.

ZDNet UK approached the Home Office following the Queen's Speech at the official opening of parliament on Wednesday.

The speech, which is written by the incumbent government, made no mention of plans to bring forward IMP provisions in legslation.

The plans would see Facebook, IM and gaming communications monitored, and the information made available to public authorities. Email and telephone records would also be made more available to public authorities, including local government. This data sharing would be enabled by amendments to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

The Conservatives may win the next election. The Conservative Party was unable to respond to a request for comment on whether it planned to continue with IMP at the time of writing.