Government yoink personal data from mobile operators

11 August 2011

riotsIt will come as no surprise to you that the police and government are guilt-tripping/forcing the hand of mobile operators to start handing over personal details to them so they can try and catch some of those dastardly looters and rioters that you may have seen on the news recently.

Everything Everywhere, the umbrella company who own Orange and T-Mobile, have confirmed that they'll be working with police to help catch the ne'er-do-wells through the data of their mobiles.

T3 report that the police are invoking the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which means they can ask Everything Everywhere to hand over information on phone calls made by rioters, including where the calls were made, who the calls were made to and who the phone is registered to.

Of course, they'll have to go wade through a whole host of people who had nothing to do with the riots, but not to worry.

Everything Everywhere are not the first mobile service provider to offer assistance to the police, with BlackBerry being the first of the big guns to announce that they would also be turning over data to the police concerning users who had been using the encrypted BlackBerry Messaging (BBM) service to organise the rioting.

What will the government do with data that doesn't having any bearing on the riots? Only time will tell, but it doesn't feel like this is the last we'll hear of this story.

TOPICS:   Technology   Mobile   Privacy   Government   UK News


  • Dick
    They could always sell it to Rupert Murdoch to make some extra cash for some new cars.
  • Georgie
    I agree that in this situation the operators are right to hand over data although it is a little concerning to me that these companies store such massive amounts of our personal data.
  • Tweedskin
    I thought they weren't allowed to "wade through a whole host of people who had nothing to do with the riots" under RIPA. They can only request info on someone after they have there name, they can't just do a blanket search of everyone who, say, were in Clapham and tweeted the word riot.

What do you think?

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