Oh dear, UK going backwards again. A bad case of Big Brother syndrome and once again under the blanket excuse of efforts against terrorism.
Please! That’s so old and tired now, do governments seriously think they can keep infringing people’s privacy and rights under the same old guise? Strike terror into the public by continually telling them they are under threat from terrorists? I guess they do…watch out folks of the UK because they will be watching you.
A massive government database holding details of every phone call, e-mail and time spent on the internet by the public is being planned as part of the fight against crime and terrorism. Internet service providers (ISPs) and telecoms companies would hand over the records to the Home Office under plans put forward by officials.
The information would be held for at least 12 months and the police and security services would be able to access it if given permission from the courts
The proposal will raise further alarm about a “Big Brother” society, as it follows plans for vast databases for the ID cards scheme and NHS patients. There will also be concern about the ability of the Government to manage a system holding billions of records. About 57 billion text messages were sent in Britain last year, while an estimated 3 billion e-mails are sent every day.
Held for 12 months? Soon to be linked to your ID card and NHS records? To your tax number, driving licence, home address, cellphone number, e-mail address and your ICQ number? I guess…they will be monitoring everything, every SMS and every e-mail.
The proposal has emerged as part of plans to implement an EU directive developed after the July 7 bombings to bring uniformity of record-keeping. Since last October telecoms companies have been required to keep records of phone calls and text messages for 12 months. That requirement is to be extended to internet, e-mail and voice-over-internet use and included in a Communications Data Bill.
Police and the security services can access the records with a warrant issued by the courts. Rather than individual companies holding the information, Home Office officials are suggesting the records be handed over to the Government and stored on a huge database.
One of the arguments being put forward in favour of the plan is that it would make it simpler and swifter for law enforcement agencies to retrieve the information instead of having to approach hundreds of service providers. Opponents say that the scope for abuse will be greater if the records are held on one database.
It would be easier to get information for the police during an investigation, but does that make it right? Isn’t that the job of the police to co-ordinate with the various ISPs and companies involved to get the records they need to track someone down?
Sometimes I wonder what they are thinking, or if they are really thinking at all.
Source: Times Online