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Home Office aims to strengthen telecoms monitoring


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Home Office has taken steps to strengthen its monitoring of telecoms networks as part of its anti-terrorism efforts.

It has begun to look for a managed service provider to support its Agile Data Retention and Disclosure Services (ARDS) programme, managing the individual solution suppliers and relevant cloud services.

The department has published a procurement notice for a three-year contract, with the extension to extend for a further two, with a value of up to £30 million.

This comes as a significant step in the ARDS project, which sits within the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism and aligns with the work of the National Communications Data Service (NCDS) in providing security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies with communications data within the legal framework.

This can be used to develop actionable intelligence and build the evidence for prosecutions, against both terrorists and organised criminals.

Anticipating change

The market notice says that, with the continual changes in internet communications, the NCDS has to monitor and anticipate changes in the communications market, improve its coverage of smaller telecoms operators and develop new capabilities.

It wants to work with a service provider to develop new solutions and make it possible to quickly onboard and offboard telecoms operators. It also emphasises that the work has to comply with the demands of the Investigatory Powers Act and the IPA Code of Practice.

The NCDS is part of a wider Communications Data and Lawful Interception Partnership with the National Crime Agency and the National Technical Advice Centre.

Image: Electronic Frontier Foundation graphic, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 through Wikimedia

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