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Government may be permitted to record personal activity on Facebook and MySpace

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The government could be allowed access to messages sent on social networking sites.

 

The likes of Facebook and MySpace are not covered by the EU's Data Retention Directive, which requires internet service providers to store information about emails sent and received for one year but not the content.

 

However Minister of State for policing, crime and security Vernon Coaker said the directive does not go far enough and proposed that social networking activities should be documented too.

 

Coaker said: “Social networking sites, such as MySpace or Bebo are not covered by the directive. I accept this is an extremely difficult area. The interface between retaining data, private security and all such issues of privacy is extremely important.

 

"That is one reason why the Government is looking at what we should do about the intercept modernisation programme because there are certain aspects of communications which are not covered by the directive.”

However, the Home Office has denied the proposals will cover social networking sites. A spokesperson told the Telegraph: “The Government has no interest in the content of people's social network sites and this is not going to be part of our forthcoming consultation.

 

“To ensure that we keep up with technological advances we intend to consult widely on proposals shortly. We have been very clear that there are no plans for a database containing the content of emails, texts, conversations or social networking sites.”

 

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