UK to Propose Laws Allowing the Monitoring of E-Mail and Visited Websites

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We’ve seen in the past months a variety of laws aiming to monitor and censor the internet. The UK (aka Oceania to George Orwell readers) is taking a step further by proposing laws allowing the monitoring of emails, phone calls, text messages and even visited websites in real time. These laws are not a long-term project; they are to be brought in “as soon as parliamentary time allows”. As usual, these big-brotherish laws are justified with noble causes such as “fighting terrorists” but the reality is that the right to privacy of the entire population is being revoked. Furthermore, the definition of “terrorist” has been so distorted in recent years that it will probably end up meaning “someone with an opinion about something” in the near future. Here are two articles from the BBC (who always slightly sugar coat these things) on the proposed web monitoring laws.

Email and web use ‘to be monitored’ under new laws

The government will be able to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK under new legislation set to be announced soon.

Internet firms will be required to give intelligence agency GCHQ access to communications on demand, in real time.

The Home Office says the move is key to tackling crime and terrorism, but civil liberties groups have criticised it.

Tory MP David Davis called it “an unnecessary extension of the ability of the state to snoop on ordinary people”.

Attempts by the last Labour government to take similar steps failed after huge opposition, including from the Tories.

‘Unprecedented step’

A new law – which may be announced in the forthcoming Queen’s Speech in May – would not allow GCHQ to access the content of emails, calls or messages without a warrant.

But it would enable intelligence officers to identify who an individual or group is in contact with, how often and for how long. They would also be able to see which websites someone had visited.

In a statement, the Home Office said action was needed to “maintain the continued availability of communications data as technology changes”.

“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,” a spokesman said.

“As set out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review we will legislate as soon as parliamentary time allows to ensure that the use of communications data is compatible with the government’s approach to civil liberties.”

But Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary David Davis said it would make it easier for the government “to eavesdrop on vast numbers of people”.

“What this is talking about doing is not focusing on terrorists or criminals, it’s absolutely everybody’s emails, phone calls, web access…” he told the BBC.

“All that’s got to be recorded for two years and the government will be able to get at it with no by your leave from anybody.”

He said that until now anyone wishing to monitor communications had been required to gain permission from a magistrate.

“You shouldn’t go beyond that in a decent civilised society, but that’s what’s being proposed.”

‘Attack on privacy’

Nick Pickles, director of the Big Brother Watch campaign group, called the move “an unprecedented step that will see Britain adopt the same kind of surveillance seen in China and Iran”.

“This is an absolute attack on privacy online and it is far from clear this will actually improve public safety, while adding significant costs to internet businesses,” he said.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, added: “This is more ambitious than anything that has been done before. It is a pretty drastic step in a democracy.”

The Internet Service Providers Association said any change in the law must be “proportionate, respect freedom of expression and the privacy of users”.

The Sunday Times quoted an industry official who warned it would be “expensive, intrusive [and] a nightmare to run legally”.

Even if the move is announced in the Queen’s Speech, any new law would still have to make it through Parliament, potentially in the face of opposition in both the Commons and the Lords.

The previous Labour government attempted to introduce a central, government-run database of everyone’s phone calls and emails, but eventually dropped the bid after widespread anger.

The then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith did pursue efforts similar to those being revisited now, but the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats continued to voice their concerns.

The shadow home secretary at the time, Chris Grayling, said the government had “built a culture of surveillance which goes far beyond counter terrorism and serious crime”.

Chris Huhne, then the Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, said any legislation requiring communications providers to keep records of contact would need “strong safeguards on access”, and “a careful balance” would have to be struck “between investigative powers and the right to privacy”.

– Source: BBC News

Email and web monitoring laws ‘to be brought in soon’

The Home Office says new laws to allow the monitoring of all emails, texts and web use in the UK will be brought in “as soon as parliamentary time allows”.

The statement comes despite widespread criticism of plans to allow GCHQ “real time” access to communications data.

In a further sign of a determination to push on with the plan, Home Secretary Theresa May said “ordinary people” would have nothing to fear.

But “criminals, paedophiles and terrorists” would, she told the Sun.

She said the idea was to update legislation to stop them being able to cover their tracks and “keep their communication secret”.

“There are no plans for any big government database… only suspected terrorists, paedophiles or serious criminals will be investigated,” she wrote in the newspaper.

‘Gangland thugs’

MPs from all sides of the House of Commons have warned against the plan to force internet service providers to install hardware tracking telephone and website use.

Mrs May said that at the moment phone records are often used to solve crimes – including child murderer Ian Huntley, as well as the “gangland thugs who gunned down Rhys Jones”, the 11-year-old shot dead in Liverpool.

But the Home Office says changes are needed to ensure that communication using social media and internet phone services such as Skype can also be recorded.

Attempts by the last Labour government to create a giant central database containing all UK web and telephone use were dropped after huge opposition, including from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

‘Nation of suspects’

Instead internet service providers have had to keep details of users’ web access, email and internet phone calls for 12 months under an EU directive from 2009.

Although the content of the calls themselves is not kept, the sender, recipient, time of communication and geographical location does have to be recorded.

The proposed new law – which may be announced in the Queen’s Speech in May – would reportedly allow GCHQ to access that data as it happens, without a warrant, rather than retrospectively.

David Davis, the Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary, countered Mrs May’s argument in the Sun: “We already have a law which lets the secret services eavesdrop on suspected criminals and terrorists.

“The new law does not focus on terrorists or criminals. It would instead allow civil servants to monitor every innocent, ordinary person in Britain, and all without a warrant.

“If they want to see all this information they should be willing to put their case before a judge or magistrate. This will force them to focus on the real terrorists rather than turning Britain into a nation of suspects.”

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham’s office has said the case for retaining such data had yet to be made.

A briefing paper on the issue in October 2010, obtained by Conservative MP Dominic Raab, said: “There needs to be some recognition that this additional data will be a honey pot as it will reveal the browsing habits of celebrities, politicians, etc.”

‘China and Iran’

It suggested that a new offence, possibly attracting a custodial sentence, could be created to punish any wrongful disclosure.

Critics have warned that any new law could end up being used more widely than originally intended – similar to the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which has been used, not just to tackle serious crime by police but also been by local authorities to check on children’s school catchment areas.

The information commissioner said public bodies not involved in dealing with serious crime or national security, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, should have to apply to a court before access was granted.

The plans have been criticised by civil liberties groups and several Conservative backbenchers.

Nick Pickles, director of campaign group Big Brother Watch, called the move “an unprecedented step that will see Britain adopt the same kind of surveillance seen in China and Iran”.

Mr Raab said it was “a plan to privatise Big Brother surveillance” and turned every individual “into a suspect”.

‘Saving lives’

When Labour attempted to push for similar changes, the Conservative shadow home secretary at the time, Chris Grayling, said the government had “built a culture of surveillance which goes far beyond counter-terrorism and serious crime”.

But Lord Carlile, the former official reviewer of terrorism legislation, said that “having come into government, the coalition parties have realised this kind of material has potential for saving lives, preventing serious crime and helping people to avoid becoming victims of serious crime”.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the police and security services had to be able to keep up with new technology, but there must be “clear checks and balances” on what they were able to do and “strong safeguards to protect people’s privacy”.

Even if the move is announced in the Queen’s Speech, any new law would still have to make it through Parliament, potentially in the face of opposition in both the Commons and the Lords.

The Internet Service Providers’ Association said any change in the law must be “proportionate, respect freedom of expression and the privacy of users”.

– Source: BBC News

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92 Comments on "UK to Propose Laws Allowing the Monitoring of E-Mail and Visited Websites"

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Thanks to VC for another very important article. People need to find out about the ruling elite and what they are and why they do things. Many have said the days of the internet being accessible with freedom of opinion are truly numbered. Australia has also tried to censor the internet recently and details can be found online. When war against Iran starts the internet as we know it will be gone as the government's of the world will shut down access and heavily restrict access to information across all subjects. Information will be censored and only be accessible if approved, authorised and only to those categorized as being those who need to know. I knew the old Echelon system routed all communications through Menwith Hill in the UK for the US and UK intelligence services but this was in the late 1980's. Technology publicly available has of course totally… Read more »

How long we gotta keep online agitating, signing petitions and complaining for until they stop with the internet censorship, cause I got disheartened just at ACTA after SOPA

the fact that SOPA failed in the first place is either a good thing or more of a smokescreen for ACTA and further legislation

they will try and take our internet freedom

but if this site eventually goes everyone must STAY STRONG, REMAIN AWAKE AND REMAIN VIGILANT

it's not long before this nwo gets f****d over, trust me

we will turn this nwo back on them and they will be begging for our forgiveness.

and if they can read what i'm saying?

well f*****g great b*****s. we will win this war.

Once again, this is pure tyranny, our governments are determined to keep creating the worst kind of communist dictator States possible. It doesn't matter who you vote for in our so called "democracies", life keeps getting worse, and more monitored and more policed every single day. Seems like destroying the political parties by only voting Independent at every election is the only way to begin to break the back of tyranny, end our sellout "Vichy" governments and their cronies, and throw the evil people who are controlling it all into disarray. Stop voting for political parties people!!

> Although the content of the calls themselves is not kept

That's Echelon's job. They're just outsourcing the indexing.

You got to be crazy if you think they don't already do this. Really all their asking is to make it legal for them to use their findings against you !

No language is too harsh for denouncing the Illuminati. No actions are too drastic. However, 99.999999% of us peasants are too cowardly to take a stand in physical reality. The irony is that such a stand would galvanize some type of public opposition.

"take a stand in physical reality" will just nourish the "dark side". you want this game to end? so you don't play with black pawns as well as you don't with white pawns. better to "say as they do (and) don't do as they say" even if the one that are talking is one you perceive as good: polarities feed each other.

Why do all these online personalities use acronyms or hidden messages to disguise their real names? "I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with conforming to a preset definition of reality."

as we saw, in this era tyranny has always came in the guise of "protection", and the most of the people always swallow it all, as long as it is fed and watered… and soaked in fear: since they're sheeplike. another reason to the constant and vicious dumbing down of the populace. but, remember the "revelation of the method". I think actually they're already doing it all, this talks may be a "prob", a test to better foresee the reaction they'll have to face. and yes, the olympics could be a nice wild card to play, to shove all the s**t out, right in our faces… nothing better than a biiiig… biiiiiiiiig happening of death and fear, hey… wait a minute, we can always blame iran or some other villain of the day: YYYEAH!!! LETS KILL TWO BIRDS WITH A STONE! hahaha (besides lots of innocents but you know "the… Read more »

" the definition of “terrorist” has been so distorted in recent years that it will probably end up meaning “someone with an opinion about something” in the near future."

Hahah, gold!

Alot of people have been sayin this&i agree with them…we right now just read the articles on VC and are obviously disapointed by it but don't go making any life changing decisions, i mean people are right when they say that we should grow our own crops and use THEIR ideas back on them, create our own websites, create our own companies, create our own technologie, i mean think about it, the reason that they are in the lead is because they have control&technologie BUT we have power, we have knowledge&we have truth. we shouldn't just waste our time, reading these articles, finding truth but then goin back to our day to day lives like before. WE should try our hardest to study, to become sometin big, not in the hollywood sense, but so we can turn the tables around and slowly win….think about it guys…

I live in the UK and I am extremely worried about this. The Queen is going to announce this 'law' in her May speech, when it hasn't even been through parliament! Everything is happening so quickly and I suppose it's only a matter of time before there is another 'terrorist' attack to get the support of oblivious people. It's a major shame that we have organisations like the illuminati who are trying to f**k up everyone's lives. We only have one life, we should be allowed to live it in PEACE and HARMONY with one another. I was researching Islam the other day and there was a verse which stated that before the anti-christ (Dajjal) comes on Earth, there will be an organisation preparing for his arrival. It most definitley seems like the Illuminati, since the Quran stated that the anti-christ/Dajjal is one eyed and the Illuminati revolve around the… Read more »

They complain about recession and lack of funds despite the fact that they more than capable of spending millions to abuse our human rights. They disguise it as an initiative to monitor us. Why they don't sufficiently monitor the p********s in the UK who run wild?

…are more than…

If everyone waits for the false flag and instant imposition of martial law to organize it will be too late. They won't have the false flag until they know they can bring down total control.

I would like to know when people think that will be?

It will be the solution to the financial crisis so maybe that is the ticking clock. The start of real hyper inflation…

We have to save money to start visiting each other and meeting at secret places eventually. I'm making it a point to visit people from Facebook that I met and perhaps travelling often. We have to use code words and come up with a language that is literally "double talk" on the internet. This is about survival.

Not only UK this is soon going to happen all across the globe. While people are busy watching movies and sports. 1984 is at the door.

Everyone keep's saying thing's like 'will they ever wake up', or 'when will the sheep realise' blah blah, but unless anyone stands up and bloody say's something nothing's ever going to be accomplished. The longer this goes on, the more power 'they' are gaining and more we are losing.

I totally agree with you, Strawberry123. The more people that are aware of this, the weaker the elite become. If we stand up for ourselves and fight against the government, we could win (if we end up being the majority). We supposedly live in a democratic society where every citizen is supposed to have say. But instead, we sit quielty and watch the world go to hell and let the elite do what they want.

Who Will Guard The Guards

It is overwhelming to control all of the people all of the time. As the saying goes, "You can fool All of the people some of the time, or Some of the people all of the time." If they want to try to follow and read everyone's email, texts, internet posts, etc., all of the time, which they do already, overall it will be overwhelming and unsuccessful. I wonder if the NWO really started post WWII and we are in the midst of its failure. I am like the mother described in one of the first posts, discovering all of the false info through the years, and disappointed too. It is very sad and negative. But I do believe there is a "universal truth" or awareness occurring among people. I was one of the sheep, believing all of the BS fed nonstop. But the truth is powerful, and I heard… Read more »

Too bad they are messing up the soil, water and air…so nothing is safe really for consumption. It's a die slow agenda. In Hawaii the coconut tree barks are softening from all the chemical released in the air and soil.

VC can you do an article re. chemtrails?!?

I have several blogs on blogpot.com and two of them have 'Feedjit' features that can track the city and country of each visitor of my blogs. I found during the first couple of days even before the blog is 'launched' to public, there was a 'visitor' coming from 'Mountain View, USA'. I wonder if it's just an automatic tracking routine by blospot.com, OR could it be the US government – who keeps track of internet users' activities, including blogging?

"I wonder if it’s just an automatic tracking routine by blospot.com, OR could it be the US government – who keeps track of internet users’ activities, including blogging?"

* The SSD Project | EFF Surveillance Self-Defense Project

ssd.eff.org/

* Anonymous Blogging with WordPress & Tor – Global Voices Advocacy

advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/projects/guide/

Oceania 😉 More 'laws' eh, it's a shame most don't know the difference between law in it's true sense and a piece of nonsense legal legislation designed to restrict and enslave – why have liberty when you can have 'security' instead… sad times ahead, I feel woefully sorry for the younger generations, can you imagine the absolute insane nonsense they we be imposing in 15 years time if we're at this point already!

look folks,if you honestly believe your personal emails/messages/mobile phone calls/etc arent already monitored,you're living in a daydream. i live in england,moved here from canada 8 years ago,and got a crash course in government harassment within my first two years and have quite happily been annoying the horrible swine ever since. believe me folks,the uk has much bigger troubles than monitoring of some txtspk messages. we have childrens services stealing kids and selling them off,parants being made criminals in secret court hearings,and an ever growing suicide rate amongst teens which nobody has an answer for. they may as well read my emails considering theres 300 odd cctv cameras watching every move on the 2 mile walk to town (which begs the question,how much crime exactly can warrant the need for that many cameras on a 2 mile stretch) so unless folks are posting bomb building plans,i wouldnt worry too hard about… Read more »
When i switch on the radio i hear it. When i switch on the tv, i see it. When im out with my friends, i dance and sing along to it. When i go shopping, i buy it. When i went to school, I learnt it. When i buy food, i eat it. Forget incurable diseases. There's only ONE thing we should all be immunized against: BULLSHIT. Forget regulation. Only ONE law to follow: Lawlessness and non-conformity. I'm so glad we're all awake. Every time i try to explain this to someone, they turn their backs and would rather stay ignorant. They're too 'afraid'. What are we all doing if not just living like puppets? Someone above commented saying we need to learn how to be more self-sufficient. I think he/she is more than right. At the end of it all, we have ourselves. Or we have dependency on a… Read more »
There's a lot to be said about running The Tor Browser Bundle in an encrypted container (TrueCrypt) on a LiveCD, with the hard drive UNPLUGGED and UNUSED! (just take the hard drives out and never use them again, USB thumb drives are cheap and can be encrypted with TrueCrypt, too, as an encrypted containter, partition, or the whole drive itself, just never use a proprietary OS like Windows or Mac OS X) As a primer, read: #Tor OPSEC – Operational Security – Great Resource of Information! cryptome.org/0005/tor-opsec.htm And: #Lest We Remember: Cold Boot Attacks on Encryption Keys citp.princeton.edu/research/memory If the keys (TC passwords) are in my head, complex enough, and never written down… With the amount of RAM present in new computers, I see no logical reason to use a hard drive again when Linux LiveCDs, encryption, and thumb drives are on the cheap or free. No unsafe hardware sex,… Read more »

@valomac says:

April 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm

"They will compile lists. They will have our names and our addresses. When the time comes, they will round up their enemies and exterminate them."

*

Psalm 2:4

"He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision."

Matthew 10:28

"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Philippians 4:6

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Let them spy, let them pry. It's like a group of dumb donkeys sitting upright in posh chairs, playing poker, squabbling over crumbs on the table.

This world is passing and our life to come with Yahweh, eternal.

wOw well said>

I saw a bunch of videos on the military having super secret underground plans (that are literally underground) to exterminate people by the masses with guillotines. Has anyone heard about this? Soilders or people that used to work for this top secret government project have come up to testify. Their testimonials are horrific. Is the government planning for a genocide for people who are "terrorist?" Is that why we are going to have multi-billion dollar spying facility erected in Utah?

Um, can you please link me to that video? I also myself heard of those kinds of military stuff, although what I heard is all about "super MK-ULTRA'ed mutated psychic human soldiers".

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