UK crime-fighting concern over VoIP calls, social networks

The huge growth in VoIP traffic is "jeopardising" the capability of UK law enforcement to investigate all types of crime, senior officials are telling The Times of London.

As more and more calls get routed over the web, police are losing the ability to track call data. There's a big push in the UK to increase the government's capability to access data held by internet services, including social networking sites and game networks. 

Presently, security and intelligence agencies can demand to see phone and email traffic from communications service providers. New services ranging from gaming to video sites and technologies such as wireless and broadband are causing a serious coping problem for the police, MI5, customs and other government agencies.

Across the UK there were 519,260 requests for communications data tracking - either CDR, text message or email, but the requests were not for the content. Police and security services say it is becoming difficult to locate communication data details, such as when a call was made and to what number, because there are now so many communications service providers in operation. Multiple user names aren't helping, either.

Police chiefs are quietly lobbing for more powers to collect phone and other communications data, but privacy groups view further extensions of state power as "Orwellian."

For more:
- The Times of London says Internet phone calls are bad for fighting U.K. terrorism. Article

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