This session's Queen's speech did not contain any explicit mention of the Communications Data Bill, but did make reference to proposals aimed at making it easier for law enforcement to match IP addresses to individuals.
My government will continue to reduce crime and protect national security. Legislation will be introduced to reform the way in which offenders are rehabilitated in England and Wales.
Legislation will be brought forward to introduce new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour, cut crime and further reform the police.
In relation to the problem of matching internet protocol addresses, my government will bring forward proposals to enable the protection of the public and the investigation of crime in cyberspace.
The government provides more details in the briefing notes on the Queen's Speech:
[IP] addresses are generally shared between a number of people. In order to know who has actually sent an email or made a Skype call, the police need to know who used a certain IP address at a given point in time. Without this, if a suspect used
the internet to communicate instead of making a phone call, it may not be possible for the police to identify them.
The Government is looking at ways of addressing this issue with CSPs. It may involve legislation.
Commentators have linked these proposals to comments made by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in April, suggesting that the government could be considering some sort of intervention relating to IPv6 adoption.
Right now, there are not enough IP addresses to go round for all of the devices being used. Temporary addresses are attached to computers and phones while they are online, but the records of these are patchy, which means they cannot easily be
matched back to individuals.
The police say a clearer picture would be a huge help in their investigations and we should explore how that can be done. --- Nick Clegg, writing in The Telegraph
The Indian government last month quietly began rolling out a project that gives it access to everything that happens over the country's telecommunications network---online activities, phone calls, text messages and even social media
Called the Central Monitoring System, it will be the single window from where government arms such as the National Investigation Agency or the tax authorities will be able to monitor every byte of communication.
After the Mumbai blasts in November 2008, the government has been arming itself with powers and technology to help it eavesdrop on digital communications. The information technology law, enacted in 2000 and amended twice in 2008 and 2011, gives
designated government officials the authority to listen in on phone calls, read SMSes, emails, and monitor websites.
However, Pavan Duggal, a Supreme Court advocate specialising in cyberlaw, said the government has given itself unprecedented powers to monitor private internet records of citizens. This system is capable of tremendous abuse, he said. The
Central Monitoring System, being set up by the Centre for Development of Telematics, plugs into telecom gear and gives central and state investigative agencies a single point of access to call records, text messages and emails as well as the
geographical location of individuals.
Work on the system has been kept under wraps for nearly two years. Several government agencies have issued tenders seeking specialised equipment and systems for such monitoring. The program is currently said to be running in a preliminary state,
and should be fully in place by August of 2014.