UK government set to rush through emergency surveillance legislation

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The UK government is looking to reinforce powers of security services to require internet and phone providers to maintain records of customer email and calls. Emergency laws are to be introduced into the Commons next Monday, following private talks and gaining support of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats on the basis that there will be new board to oversee the functioning of new powers. The move is an effort to continue protecting UK citizens from external threats.

Transparency reports will be released on an annual basis confirming just how frequently police and security services are using the legislation. Expiring in 2016, the new laws will require fresh legislation post-general election. It's reported that there will be no powers to look at the content of phone calls, but location, date and phone numbers in question will be accessible. UK prime minister, David Cameron, recently explained why the emergency powers were being pushed through.

"It is the first duty of government to protect our national security and to act quickly when that security is compromised. As events in Iraq and Syria demonstrate, now is not the time to be scaling back on our ability to keep our people safe. The ability to access information about communications and intercept the communications of dangerous individuals is essential to fight the threat from criminals and terrorists targeting the UK."

It's noted that a recent European court of justice ruling in April concluded that current laws invaded individual privacy, thus the UK government has taken action to ensure records are kept should investigations be started, requiring access to data retained by providers. The court ruling affected regulations requiring businesses to hold said date for up to 12 months.

What are your thoughts on the new legislation to reinforce surveillance?

Source: The Guardian

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Rich Edmonds

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Reader comments

UK government set to rush through emergency surveillance legislation


With all that we know about what the security services have been up to they probably have access to all this information anyway through unscrupulous means, along with the actual contents of phone calls, texts and emails.

Nobody should be surprised to see bile like this forced through into law from the conservatives and Labour party, as both have long believed Orwell's 1984 to be a how to manual on how to govern. The "liberals" though should hang their heads in shame, as this will obliterate what little remains of their reputation. (admittedly, that's not much)

I'm sorry to hear that those of you from the UK will be dealing with the same things that we deal with here in the USA. It would nice to think that some countries aren't spying on their citizens. Maybe your tech companies will stand up against this like the token effort some of our tech companies have made? Either way, at some point citizens of every country need to stand up and say no to this sort of thing.

and the police states around the world continue to grow. when the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty. there is no liberty anywhere anymore.

Looks like Camerons dream of picking and choosing which EU legislations to follow is coming true. Sadly, when it's something good he decides it's not so good and would rather oppress our freedoms in order to 'protect them'.

Hmmm, sounds like a bad repeat of whats going on here in the States. Sorry to hear that for our British brothers and sisters.