UK: Web Phone Service Gives Criminals Edge

Authorities want to expand their online snooping powers
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2008 3:23 PM CDT
Authorities are worried that criminals are using the internet to communicate.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Criminals and terrorists are using VoIP services like Skype to evade law enforcement, sources tell the Times of London, and officials are lobbying for increased access. Police often rely on phone records as evidence, but online calls often leave no trace. “Communications data forms an important element of prosecution evidence in 95% of serious crime cases,” said a security source.

Britain’s Home Secretary outlined plans yesterday to vastly expand the government’s ability to access internet data, including social networking sites like Facebook, and police officials want web communications included in the effort. “This is a hugely important issue,” a source said. “To lose the capability to collect phone data would be disastrous.”