Sunday, April 1, 2012
U.K : Proposed laws allow government to view all emails, texts, etc. without warrants
Legislation will be announced soon that will allow the government to monitor the calls, emails, texts, and even website visits of all UK residents. Internet providers must give intelligence agency GCHQ real time access to all communications.
Naturally all this invasion of privacy is touted as justified to fight crime and terrorism. This is the new Newspeak of George Orwell's 1984.
Even a Tory (Conservative) MP David Davis said the bill is "an unnecessary extension of the ability of the state to snoop on ordinary people". Davis told the BBC:"What this is talking about doing is not focusing on terrorists or criminals, it's absolutely everybody's emails, phone calls, web access...All that's got to be recorded for two years and the government will be able to get at it with no by or leave from anybody." There will be no necessity to get permission from a magistrate.
The director of Big Brother Watch said that the legislation is"an unprecedented step that will see Britain adopt the same kind of surveillance seen in China and Iran".Shami Chakrabarti director of Liberty also criticised the legislation:"This is an absolute attack on privacy online and it is far from clear this will actually improve public safety, while adding significant costs to Internet businesses," Internet companies are also worried about the legislation.
An industry official is quoted as saying that the measures would be "expensive, intrusive [and] a nightmare to run legally". The previous Labor Bill was withdrawn due to opposition. Hopefully, sufficient Liberal, Conservative, and Labour MPs will oppose this bill to have it withdrawn as well. For more see this BBC article.