By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Home Office says all data from web could be stored in giant government database
Internet “black boxes” will be used to collect every email and web visit in the UK under the Government’s plans for a giant “big brother” database, The Independent has learnt.
Home Office officials have told senior figures from the internet and telecommunications industries that the “black box” technology could automatically retain and store raw data from the web before transferring it to a giant central database controlled by the Government.
Plans to create a database holding information about every phone call, email and internet visit made in the UK have provoked a huge public outcry. Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, described it as “step too far” and the Government’s own terrorism watchdog said that as a “raw idea” it was “awful”.
“It was clear the ‘black box’ is the technology the Government will use to hold all the data. But what isn’t clear is what the Home Secretary, GCHQ and the security services intend to do with all this information in the future,” said a source close to the meeting.
He added: “They said they only wanted to return to a position they were in before the emergence of internet communication, when they were able to monitor all correspondence with a police suspect. The difference here is they will be in a much better position to spy on many more people on the basis of their internet behaviour. Also there’s a grey area between what is content and what is traffic. Is what is said in a chat room content or just traffic?”
via Government black boxes will ‘collect every email’ – Home News, UK – The Independent
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Britain’s Digital Surveillance: Hiding from Her Majesty’s ‘Black Boxes’
Thanks for your comment and link, curiouslyinspired. We must resist!
This is what I have on all my outgoing emails:
It’s an outrageous idea which we believe directly impacts our civil liberties. There is a lot of opposition to this “Big Brother” move out there.
A number of UK bloggers use a tag “Resist” in their posts to voice their extreme concern over this. Join us if you agree!