Government Plans for Internet Surveillance Sparks Privacy Fears

Government Plans for Internet Surveillance Sparks Privacy Fears
8 May 2012, 14:41 PM Darren Bunker

Anger has continued to grow over the Government's plans to carry out widespread surveillance to the internet.  In April the Government announced plans to introduce new legislation. Under new laws the UK’s central intelligence agencies GCHQ and MI5, police forces and other authorities would have full access to all emails, text messages and web browsing logs of everyone in the UK.

Former Conservative Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis called it “an unnecessary extension of the ability of the state to snoop on ordinary people” and fears it will cause huge public resentment.  The Tory MP also told the Press Association: “Historically, Governments have been kept out of our private lives. “Our freedom and privacy has been protected through the courts, by saying ‘If you want to intercept, if you want to look at something, fine, if it is a terrorist or a criminal go and ask a magistrate and you’ll get approval.’ “You should not go beyond that in a decent, civilised society but that is what is being proposed.”

The Information Commissioner’s Office has said it wants to ensure privacy is safeguarded. The move could also be in breach of European Law. The Home Office defended the plan, saying legislation is vital to combat terrorism, despite a similar proposal by Labour in 2006 being abandoned. It is thought the bill may be announced in the Queen’s speech next month, although the Home Office refused to comment specifically, saying only that it would “legislate as soon as parliamentary time allows ensuring that the use of communications data is compatible with Government’s approach to civil liberties.”

 

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