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UK to Announce New Web and Email Monitoring Law 'Soon'

By - Source: Telegraph | B 34 comments

New legislation expected to be announced next month.

New, as-yet-unannounced legislation from the UK's GCHQ intelligence agency will supposedly see the government monitor citizens' internet and email use. The Telegraph cites the Sunday Times in reporting that under the new law, ISPs will be required to install hardware that gives the Government Communications Headquarters on-demand, real time access to electronic communications data. This includes email, web browsing, text messaging and phone calls.

The law is intended to aid investigations into 'serious crime and terrorism' and a spokesperson for the Home Office is quoted as saying a warrant would be required to access the content of such communications data. As such, this data would include details such as time, duration of calls, and email addresses used, but no content.

"Communications data includes time, duration and dialing numbers of a phone call, or an email address. It does not include the content of any phone call or email and it is not the intention of Government to make changes to the existing legal basis for the interception of communications," the spokesperson said.

It's thought that the new law will be announced in next month's Queen's Speech and the Telegraph reports that the Home Office has confirmed ministers' intentions to legislate "as soon as parliamentary time allows." A similar law was planned in 2006 but failed following huge opposition.

Further Reading

The Telegraph: Internet activity 'to be monitored' under new laws

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    annihilatorza , April 2, 2012 5:18 PM
    Can you say police state ?
  • 15 Hide
    kristoffe , April 2, 2012 5:32 PM
    wow. imagine this in the hands of a white collar criminal. it is put into place to stop terrorism and then is a backdoor for all types of privacy invasion and fraud. this is not a good idea.
  • 12 Hide
    Northwestern , April 2, 2012 5:33 PM
    Quit trying to take over the internet. It's the only thing free from the government's hands and I intend to keep it that way.
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    house70 , April 2, 2012 5:10 PM
    We already have that here... it's the "Patriot Act".
  • 22 Hide
    annihilatorza , April 2, 2012 5:18 PM
    Can you say police state ?
  • 15 Hide
    kristoffe , April 2, 2012 5:32 PM
    wow. imagine this in the hands of a white collar criminal. it is put into place to stop terrorism and then is a backdoor for all types of privacy invasion and fraud. this is not a good idea.
  • 12 Hide
    Northwestern , April 2, 2012 5:33 PM
    Quit trying to take over the internet. It's the only thing free from the government's hands and I intend to keep it that way.
  • 11 Hide
    fuzznarf , April 2, 2012 5:45 PM
    house70We already have that here... it's the "Patriot Act".

    This is horrible!! As bad as the Patriot Act is, it doesn't require ISPs to install Govt hardware. This sounds more like what they do in the middle east and China, where the govt then has control to shut down communications completely. :( 

    But it will soon come to the US... and we will be told it is 'for our own good'
  • -6 Hide
    rocknrollz , April 2, 2012 5:59 PM
    Quote:

    What is with governments and their rampant desire to rule the internet these days?


    Uh, probably because the majority of people on EARTH spend most of their lives on it.
  • 3 Hide
    ahnilated , April 2, 2012 6:02 PM
    bigmack70What is with governments and their rampant desire to rule the internet these days?In the end, it's the everyday citizens that lose.


    It is already here, if you don't believe it you are kidding yourself and should wake up.
  • 10 Hide
    rantoc , April 2, 2012 6:03 PM
    Seems UK is going towards the state it was in V for Vandetta =)
  • 11 Hide
    mcd023 , April 2, 2012 6:04 PM
    big brother is watching...
  • 7 Hide
    fuzznarf , April 2, 2012 6:09 PM
    RockNRollz+1 to the UK gov.

    It is ironic that the people who want to be controlled, like you, are in favor of controlling others. Hypocrite much? How about the gov't stay away from the internet, because if you don't think that they will abuse the power and ultimately shut down what they dislike you are a fool.
  • 4 Hide
    gm0n3y , April 2, 2012 6:09 PM
    This kind of legislation just makes me so angry (and glad I don't live in the UK). I for one am willing to accept that terrorism will happen and am not willing to give up any more freedoms to make myself feel safer. In fact, lets roll back ALL anti-terror legislation made in the past 12 years and just accept that a very small number of people will occasionally be killed. That is a fair price for freedom.
  • 7 Hide
    hoof_hearted , April 2, 2012 6:10 PM
    I am sure poeple will just learn to encrypt email now.
  • 4 Hide
    fuzznarf , April 2, 2012 6:19 PM
    gm0n3yThis kind of legislation just makes me so angry (and glad I don't live in the UK). I for one am willing to accept that terrorism will happen and am not willing to give up any more freedoms to make myself feel safer. In fact, lets roll back ALL anti-terror legislation made in the past 12 years and just accept that a very small number of people will occasionally be killed. That is a fair price for freedom.

    Fact is that this, and all the other laws, don't actually stop terrorism. We already have the means to monitor terrorists within the confines of the law, this is just a way around those laws.
  • 2 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , April 2, 2012 6:20 PM
    Well it's a damn good thing we had the Revolutionary War!
  • 5 Hide
    memadmax , April 2, 2012 6:22 PM
    Yep, glad I don't live in the UK....

    Meanwhile, back in the real world.... All the tools that a smart criminal would use to circumvent the supposed government monitoring, are already out there, for free.....

    So what does this end up doing?

    It gets the dumb criminals at first, then it becomes a great civilian oppression tool......... while the criminals that this was originally intended to catch get away.....
  • 2 Hide
    freggo , April 2, 2012 6:40 PM
    Today the law covers 'only date and time'.
    Then tomorrow they'll slip in an addendum to include the contents.

  • 2 Hide
    wooodoggies , April 2, 2012 7:04 PM
    nazi britian, then nazi america. UK is a staging area for what they plan to do in the US.
  • 5 Hide
    killerclick , April 2, 2012 8:52 PM
    If you are innocent, you have nothing to fear.
    If you are innocent, you have nothing to fear.
    If you are innocent, you have nothing to fear.

    Me, I'll continue using encryption for anything important or even slightly embarrassing.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 2, 2012 9:29 PM
    i'm from Romania (not a gypsy, those are other people). In my country they voted in PE for ACTA, our president use gendarms oppression against people's protests. And they think ACTA is a good idea, they try to hide the privacy invasion.
    Can't you see governments in almost every country make massive efforts to spy people, to invade people's privacy? under the mask of "terrorism prevention", of course.
    there are no good intentions in this, we have to expect of the worst and also we need to fight for our rights.
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