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Home Office signs Leidos for telecoms monitoring service

17/12/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Home Office has signed Leidos Innovations on a £30 million contract to provide a managed service for its Agile Data Retention and Disclosure Service (ARDS).

Eye on laptop screen

The service involves monitoring and anticipating changes in telecommunications activity, and makes a significant contribution to the department’s counter-terrorism activities.

It sits within the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism and aligns with the work of the National Communications Data Service in providing security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies with communications data within the legal framework.

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

Leidos includes intelligence capabilities among its main workstreams, highlighting capabilities in data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

According to the contract award notice, it will run the managed service to encourage new ideas in how ARDS operates, making it possible to rapidly onboard and offboard telecoms operators, and meet obligations under the Investigatory Powers Act and Communications Data Code of Practice.

It also points to the use of communications data in 95% of all serious organised crime investigations handled by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Home Office has previously indicated that the contract will run for three years.

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

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