Big brother wants to track your phone calls and web browsing

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The government wants to be able to track your phone calls (including Skype calls), read your emails and even track which websites you visit and they want to do this without having to apply for a warrant from a magistrate. If they get their way all ISPs will have to give GCHQ access to their networks and everything you do online as well as every phone call and text message you send will be monitored.

The new law still wouldn’t allow GHCQ to listen in on calls or read emails without a warrant, but they’d be able to track who you speak to, who you email or text and for how long and which websites you visit without a warrant and it would all be recorded and saved for two years whether you like it or not.

The government’s reasons for recording your communications are anti-terrorism. Those against the moves call it an invasion of privacy and argue that although the government can get a warrant to track terrorists by the time they know who they are it’s too late to find out who they’ve been talking to. The previous Labour government were considering eavesdropping legislation so it’s considered necessary but all parties, although Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dem MPs have all taken their turn at criticising the policy.

What do you think? Do you care about your telephone and online activities being tracked and who you speak to and what you look at recorded? Is it a price worth paying to combat terrorism and crime or is it a step to far to snoop on innocent people’s lives?

18 Responses

  1. The real question from is how is this going to impact on ecommerce?

    Clearly those who operate in the black economy or who sell counterfeit goods are law breakers and commiting criminal acts and so may be less inclined to sell online in the UK. No doubt HMRC will be one of those parties monitoring activities.

    Good news for those genuine businesses. Maybe not such good news for eBay.

    My only concern is ebay may ramp up fees yet again for those genuine business sellers in order to compensate for the lost revenue from those crooks who choose to no longer sell on ebay.

  2. While I have no problem with this in principle it does open the door for other less important types of snooping.

    My major issue with this is any self respecting criminal will be using encryption, L1 proxies and VPN’s to hide anyway so all the data will show is some random anonymous server in some random country with no wish to help the UK, It does seem to be more a case of seeing what the public will stomach and then extending it to cover any sort of data harvesting on behalf of any government body.

    There is also the small point of proliferation of your personal data, if the data is stored and then passed onto a government body you can safely assume they will leave it on a train, in a taxi or simply leave it on a hard disk and sell the equipment as has happened in the past with a wide range of personal information.

  3. its a trade off you cant expect the government to keep us safe and blindfold them too

  4. Criminals will ALWAYS find a way, so efforts are wasted.

    I found out recently that my local council had sold my data to a marketing company. I know this because my council thought I was 65 (data entry error) so I was getting junk mail for retired people.

    Infuriated but it’s done now and you can’t change it. (but local elections are coming up…)

    This government seems to want to control the people through legislation and rumours. I mean, think of the tax boost they got just before the year end with all that panic petrol buying.

  5. I think it is an obvious assumption that the Government and GCHQ track and monitor all sorts of data usage that we don’t even know about. This will continue to happen regardless of what happens with this bill.

    I agree with Clarky above, this won’t stop the wrong do’oers as they will just find ways around it.

    People like Google and Amazon have been storing peoples search data for a very long time to enable them ‘to better offer us things which are relevant’

    I just have a funny feeling that bringing in laws like this under the guise of ‘anti-terror’ is all a little bit sneaky… reminds me of Hitler and the Enabling Act which he brought in to protect Germany at the start of the war, but it was that law which allowed him to do what he did unopposed for a long time. Also likened to George Bush and his Patriot Act after 9/11.

    Im obviously not saying it is the same, just a small similarity

  6. Most Western governments are bloated and out of control, spending far too much money to achieve far too little.

    Good government should be there to serve the people; most governments these days, including all British governments for the last 30 years, seem to think that the people are there to serve them.

    That can’t end well, whether it is by collapsing under its own weight or by a variation of the many revolutions we have seen all around the world over the last 50 years or more.

  7. I like the way our government talks about human rights abuses to China, then brings in legation on UK citizens that would make the Chinese proud.



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