Quoted: on proposed U.K. communications bill — to snoop and to protect?

“Just like the Internet, any private home can be a crime scene, but should we install hidden cameras and microphones in every bedroom in the land?”

Rachel Robinson, policy officer for advocacy group Liberty, on the U.K.’s proposed Communications Data Bill, which would give the government and law enforcement greater access to Internet users’ information. According to the BBC, Home Secretary Theresa May said the measure is “about ensuring we catch criminals and stop terrorists.” Among other things, the measure would require telecom companies to hang on to data — who did what and when — having to do with Facebook posts, tweets, emails, online gaming, website visits and voice calls for up to 12 months. Warrants would be required to view the content of emails and other communications. David Davis, the former Conservative shadow home secretary, calls the proposal an “excessive intrusion into people’s private affairs.” The tracking is “thought to run into tens and possibly hundreds of millions,” a cost that will be footed by the government, according to the Guardian. As GMSV mentioned a couple of months ago, one tech executive has said the proposal puts the U.K. on track for comparisons to “the likes of China and Iran.”

 

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