There’s been quite a lot online and in some traditional media in the last few days about how the government is supposedly resurrecting Labour’s plans for online snooping (the cuddly sounding Interception Modernisation Programme).
I dropped a note to the Home Office contacts I had, such that they are, asking if what has been announced as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review was in fact the Interception Modernisation Programme. For those who haven’t been following, that’s the innocent sounding name for the last government’s plan to build a database with details of every EMail, Facebook message, Instant Message, Internet phone call and anything else they can manage.
Today I had the reply: In short, no. It’s not the IMP.
This is the sort of responsible fact checking that you’d think the Telegraph might do before running a story on the topic. Or the Independent. Even the Guardian. Twice. No, sorry, that’s three stories.
Of course, there will be more to it than that but the main message I took away from the 10 minute phone call was that what has been announced is not intended to be picking up from where they left off.
Indeed the pithy response I got when I asked Liberal Democrat sources about the story is that what is being considered now “isn’t a database at all”.