- Britain’s snooping watchdog reveals grave doubts over the mass surveillance project
- Internal documents say plans could lead to innocents being wrongly identified as criminals
- Project has sparked huge row at Westminster, dividing the Coalition
Big Brother plans to spy on all internet visits, emails and texts will cost the taxpayer £2billion.
The extraordinary bill was revealed amid revelations that Britain’s snooping watchdog has grave doubts about the mass surveillance project.
The Office of the Information Commissioner said the case had ‘not been made’ to justify the sweeping expansion in the power of the police and other public bodies to trawl through private communications, including visits to Facebook and eBay.
Internal ICO papers, marked restricted, say the Orwellian plan could lead to the innocent being wrongly identified as criminals or terrorists and barred from flying.
Grave doubts: The mass surveillance project has sparked fears that it could lead to the innocent being wrongly identified as criminals or terrorists
WHAT THE CHANGES WILL MEAN TO YOU
Many of us have several devices to communicate with others. Here, we explain how the new system will affect them:
Under surveillance: In future, every website visit via your iPad or laptop would be kept for a fixed period by your internet service provider
No change. Police, the security services and other public bodies can already access data on who you are calling and when, but not the details of what was said. This information is stored by phone companies, but a ministerial warrant is required to access it.
Officials can already find out who you have called or texted and when, and even pinpoint your location. The law does not currently cover modern ways of communicating, such as BlackBerrys. In future, those platforms would be tracked too.
Some basic data is currently stored, such as when a person started browsing the web. In future, every website visit would be kept for a fixed period by your internet service provider. This would only detail the address of the website, and not the exact content.
No change. Officials can already see who you email, and when. If there is a suspicion of wrongdoing, police and security services can access your correspondence under a warrant.
Terrorists have turned to Skype, as existing laws do not cover internet telephone calls. Security officials say this loophole must be closed. If their demands are met, they would be able to check who you call and when.
As with web browsing, social networking data is not routinely stored. New rules would give the authorities the right to know who you have been talking to on Facebook, and when.
Security services suspect online gaming – which allows players to chat using headsets or text messages – could be used to plot terrorist activity. In future, data would be stored on who gamers play with or talk to.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2124251/Government-spy-websites-emails-texts-cost-taxpayers-2bn.html#ixzz1qvbSL3FL
Background reading :
EU: Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: Tackling Crime in our Digital Age: Establishing a European Cybercrime Centre (pdf) press release(link). The centre will be established within the European Police Office, Europol in The Hague (The Netherlands). The centre will be the European focal point in fighting cybercrime and will focus on illegal online activities carried out by organised crime groups, particularly those generating large criminal profits, such as online fraud involving credit cards and bank credentials. from : http://www.statewatch.org/
NETWORK NEUTRALITY 101: Why The Government Must Act To Preserve The Free And Open Internet (2010 resource): The Internet has become a deeply ingrained in the lives of most Americans. It looms so large, in fact, it is easy to imagine that it is immune to change — that it will always remain the free and open medium that it is now. But there are no such guarantees.
Online Free Speech (2006 resource): In a clear victory for free speech, the Supreme Court has announced that it will not hear the government’s appeal of a ban on the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), the federal law that would criminalize constitutionally protected speech on the Internet.
Online Censorship in the States (2002 resource): In a sweeping victory for free speech rights in cyberspace, the Supreme Court struck down the Communications Decency Act in Reno v. ACLU in June 1997. The Court granted the highest level of First Amendment protection to the Internet, and cyber-activists are still dancing in the streets. Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, states are busy crafting censorship laws at home.
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