Mobile networks are incapable of carrying out the massively increased internet surveillance being demanded by intelligence and law enforcement agencies, MPs and peers heard today, raising further doubts over the technical feasibility of the plans.
Major technical upgrades would be required for mobile broadband providers to even keep basic records of websites visited, said T-Mobile data protection chief Martin Hoskins.
"We've got no legitimate business reason to do that, so we don't," he told the All Party Parliamentary Group on Privacy, which is investigating the government's Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP).
Hoskins explained that mobile broadband uses very few IP addresses to serve many customers, so associating web activity with individuals, as demanded by IMP, is not currently possible. He said T-Mobile's network can serve over 1,000 customers via a single IP address.More...