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Can ISPs recover data retention costs in the UK?

ISPs today welcomed a commitment from Home Secretary, Charles Clarke MP, to work with the internet industry to implement the Data Retention Directive into UK law, but expressed concern as to how industry costs would be reimbursed. Yက12 Jan 2006

The Directive will force ISPs and telcos to retain phone and internet records for up to two years for use in investigation of criminal and terrorist offences.

MEPs approved the controversial proposals in mid December, but backed down on a requirement that Member States must reimburse telcos and ISPs for the costs involved in retaining, storing and accessing the data. The approved Directive leaves this issue up to the individual Member States.

Speaking at the Internet Services Providers’ Association’s (ISPA UK) 10th Annual Parliamentary Advisory Forum on Tuesday, Mr Clarke gave little away. He said that he wanted to “work with industry on this legislation, and hear industry's major concerns."

Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General of ISPA UK, welcomed the Home Office’s consultation with the internet industry.