UK Govt announces new powers to 'snoop' on emails, calls
London, June 15 (ANI): The British government has announced legislation that would lead to a huge expansion of surveillance of the Internet and mobile phones by intelligence agencies and the police.
The Communications and Data Bill will allow police and security services to keep track of who is calling whom on mobile phones, the email addresses of all correspondents and the personal IDs of people chatting on social networking sites.
According to Sky News, under the new plans, Communications Service Providers will have to store communications data, possibly to specially fitted 'black boxes', funded by the taxpayer.
The government said the cost of this would be 1.8 billion pounds over 10 years, but would lead to benefits of up to 6.5 billion pounds.
Mobile phone operators will also be expected to provide the duration of calls, the time of day they were made and the location of the caller to police.
The new powers are seen by the government, the police and the security services as essential to keep pace with innovations on the Internet.
However, privacy and civil liberty campaigners have slammed the bill.
Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, pointed out that that the 'policy will track every email users send, every Facebook message and log every website people visit in a way that no other democratic country does.'
"It is not for innocent people to justify why the Government should not spy on them," the report quoted Pickles, as saying.
"All we have heard from the Home Office is scaremongering and cheap rhetoric that has wholly failed to address the serious civil liberties concerns, feasibility questions or even say how much it will cost," he added. (ANI)
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