News Burst: Home Office wants snoop powers for comms

Proposals made by the Home Office Tuesday could give security agencies power to intercept emails, pagers, mobile phone and private networks.

The consultative paper published today is intended to modernise the Interception of Communications Act of 1985 according to Home Secretary Jack Straw. Under the proposals Internet Service Providers will be required to ensure their systems are 'open to interception'. The Home Office is asking for industry feedback on implementation mechanisms as well as cost implications for smaller ISPs.

Straw described the changes as "necessary to take account" of the huge changes in telecommunications. He doesn't believe it will lead to a loss of individual privacy. "I wouldn't anticipate this will lead to an increase in the number of communications intercepted," he said.

Interested parties have 3 months to respond.

Full story to follow.