Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Britian Plans Massive Expansion of Surveillence
The Government of Britian unveils Big Brother plan to log calls and emails of EVERY person in Britain. This according to the DailyMail in the U.K.Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has unveiled plans for a massive expansion of 'Big Brother' state surveillance, covering every phonecall, e-mail, text message and internet visit in Britain.
Jacqui Smith pictured above is the Secretary of Home Security in the U.K.
Jacqui Smith has unveiled plans for a massive expansion of 'Big Brother' State surveillance, covering every phonecall, email, text message and internet visit in Britain.
The Home Secretary claimed that storing details of a person's conversations by telephone, computer or website was vital to prevent further terrorist atrocities.
Activities which will be subject to snooping for the first time include visits to social networking sites such as Facebook, auction sites such as Ebay, gaming websites and chatrooms.
Police and security services will not be able to access the precise content - but will know each site visited, and to whom and when a phonecall, text message or email was sent. This could be accessed within an hour of being sent, in virtual "real time," sources say. If this sets alarm bells ringing, and they are concerned about a person's activities, they could seek a ministerial warrant to intercept exactly what is being sent - including the content.
The billions of pieces of data, likely to be stored for at least a year, could even be kept on a giant Government database, officials said. The cost is estimated to be at least £1billion, and could be far higher. The proposals were last night attacked by MPs and privacy groups as "Stalinist", "Orwellian" and a reversal of the presumption a person is innocent until proven guilty. One opponent said: "They are making us all suspects."
Officials are split between placing the vast amount of personal data to be collected on the huge central database - or forcing individual service providers, such as internet companies, to store the information, to be accessed on demand.
Currently, the option being worked on is to request data from the service providers, the memo reveals. They are likely to pass on extra costs to customers.
The memo says that while the Interception Modernization Program - the name given to the Whitehall team working on the project - favoured a vast database, some Home Office officials viewed this as "impractical, disproportionate, politically unattractive, and possibly unlawful from a human rights perspective."
We're watching you: An East German Stasi officer listens in on a couple in a scene from the Oscar-winning film The Lives Of Others. Jacqui Smith has unveiled plans for a massive expansion of state surveillance Ms Smith herself admitted the public had reason to be concerned.
In a speech to the Ippr think-tank, she said: "Of course, even if there had not been events (data losses), the British public would have every right to be sceptical about a state activity that involves the collection of data. " They should be sceptical and questioning about the processes that we already use."
But she said that, without increasing their capacity to store data, the police and security services would have to consider a "massive expansion of surveillance'
Security sources say terrorists, wise to the fact the authorities can already store some e-mail and phone records, were adapting their techniques. These include communicating via social networking sites, or on computer games consoles which are linked to the internet.
"The public will also be acutely aware of how, under this Government, surveillance powers designed to combat terrorism and serious organised crime have been used by local authorities to investigate things like fly-tipping. This would be absolutely unacceptable." Consultation on the plans will begin early next year, with a Bill expected to follow by the end of 2009 or 2010.
The Home Secretary talks about 'principles' but the only principle she appears to be acquainted with is convenience for the stalker state. Monitoring your communications is as intrusive as searching your home. It ought to only be permitted as part of a specific investigation and only on a warrant from a judge.
But senior security and police services were adamant that, without the new powers, lives would be put at risk. They said some investigations have already been affected by criminals who use technology to avoid detection, by plotting online through social networking sites or interactive games. Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, has described the proposal as "a step too far for the British way of life," and Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said the proposals will "do nothing to make us safer."
THE QUESTION WE SHOULD BE ASKING IS WHEN IS THIS KIND OF INVASION COMMING TO OUR SHORES?
What do you think?