Proposed UK Legislation Would Greenlight Warrantless Government Spying on Citizens

By Tracey E. Schelmetic April 02, 2012

Looks like U.S. citizens aren't the only ones who need to be spooked about creepy, greatly expanded government spying powers at home. Britain's Government Communication Headquarters, or GCHQ, may soon have the right to access telephone calls, SMS messages, e-mails and the online activity of any and all British citizens...without first obtaining a warrant.

The GCHQ would use these new powers courtesy of special hardware installed with Internet service providers (ISPs). This software would allow the government to monitor citizens in real-time, and although the exact content of emails and messages would be off-limits; recipients, time, duration and frequency of conversations, plus a list of websites being visited, would all be logged, Digital Trends is reporting today.

The new powers wouldn't be intended to focus specifically on people suspected of terrorism. Instead, they could be used on anyone. Critics and civil liberties watchdogs are calling it “a way to make it easier for the government to eavesdrop on vast numbers of people.”

The UK government disagrees, saying that the new laws will provide security agencies with the ability to “investigate serious crime and terrorism and to protect the public.”

“It is vital that police and security services are able to obtain communications data in certain circumstances to investigate serious crime and terrorism and to protect the public,” said a Home Office spokesman, who told UK newspaper The Guardian that the plans would be brought forward “as soon as parliamentary time allows.”

The law is expected to be announced during the Queen’s Speech on May 9, but would still need to be approved in Parliament before it become operational, says Digital Trends. In the meantime, both supporters and opponents of the new law are expected to continue weighing in on it.






Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Consumer Privacy in the Digital Era: Three Trends to Watch

By: Special Guest    1/18/2018

Digital advertising has exploded in recent years, with the latest eMarketer data forecasting $83 billion in revenue this year and continued growth on …

Read More

CES 2018: Terabit Fiber - Closer Than We Think

By: Doug Mohney    1/17/2018

One of the biggest challenges for 5G and last mile 10 Gig deployments is not raw data speeds, but middle mile and core networks. The wireless industry…

Read More

10 Benefits of Drone-Based Asset Inspections

By: Frank Segarra    1/15/2018

Although a new and emerging technology, (which is still evolving), in early 2018, most companies are not aware of the possible benefits they can achie…

Read More

VR Could Change Entertainment Forever

By: Special Guest    1/11/2018

VR could change everything from how we play video games to how we interact with our friends and family. VR has the power to change how we consume all …

Read More

Making Connections - The Value of Data Correlation

By: Special Guest    1/5/2018

The app economy is upon us, and businesses of all stripes are moving to address it. In this age of digital transformation, businesses rely on applicat…

Read More