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

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

Follow @JaneMcEntegart on Twitter.                            

  • house70
    We already have that here... it's the "Patriot Act".
  • annihilatorza
    Can you say police state ?
  • kristoffe
    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.
  • Northwestern
    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.
  • fuzznarf
    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'
  • rocknrollz
    +1 to the UK gov.
  • rocknrollz
    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.
  • ahnilated
    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.
  • rantoc
    Seems UK is going towards the state it was in V for Vandetta =)
  • mcd023
    big brother is watching...