UK netizens may find their online activities under ever-greater scrutiny in the near future. The UK government has pushed ahead with a proposal to require monitoring of Internet usage, including social networks such as Facebook and conversations within online games.
The new UK law would require communication firms to hold records of who contacted whom, rather than the actual contents of online conversation. About £2 billion ($3.34 billion) would go toward compensating the firms for the technical challenge of collecting the data.
About 40 percent of people responding to the proposal opposed the plan, according to the BBC. But the UK government says that it would enable law enforcement to request info on when communications were sent between which persons, and possibly link that information back to individual smart phones or laptops.
U.S. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) typically toss online records after their business use has expired, unless law enforcement requests them to hold onto data files for an ongoing investigation. Such requests fall under the 1996 Electronic Communication Transactional Records Act, which requires ISPs to hold such records for 90 days upon governmental request.
However, CNET previously reported that the U.S. Congress has considered legislation that would require ISPs to keep records of Internet user data for two years. The U.S. proposals came after former attorney general Alberto Gonzales made several calls for more online monitoring in 2006, and have gained backing from the FBI as well as some members of Congress.
A pair of bills in the U.S. House and Senate that would mandate the two-year data retention saw some movement earlier this year, according to The Register. Other nations such as Australia and Canada have also considered their own variations on Internet monitoring.
Using online tools for better intelligence gathering and surveillance has also been a big hit recently -- DARPA has launched its fun balloon-tracking contest, and the CIA recently bought into a firm that monitors social networks such as Facebook.
Yeah! Erosion of civil liberties! Woot!
Who's with me?!?
These nations are starting to become more and more like the Gestapo and the KGB. Monitor everything and even the slightest hint of rebellion they go ape ****.
No one has the right to tell me who I can and can not speak to. People need to wake up and start having discussions at the local level about what national level politics is doing to our freedoms.
Its the same progressives on both sides of the Atlantic that have been working on this pattern for a very long time, well over a century. It takes time to condition people to accept this level of control, generations slowly chipping away at tradition, pride in yourself and your country, belief that you deserve better and to decide your fate for yourself.
This is also why in all of western countries whatever minority exists is used for cries of racism and hatred, to beat you and your sense of self worth so low you feel you deserve whatever they give you. In the US black people, in Canada native Americans, Australia aborigines, Britain France etc. muslim immigrants. Who it is doesn't matter to them, just their current use in undermining societies pride and the populations sense of self worth.
Socialism is just a renamed slightly watered down form of communism renamed because of the intense unpopularity of communism but with the same goal. Absolute control of the populace. Once in its almost impossible to get out for obvious reasons.
Both idealogies have served as a vehicle to bring this level of control, under the guise of making people equal. Though of course the political caste is a little more equal than everyone else.
This is so stupid. Since terrorists and criminals know that they are being monitored they will talk as if they are being monitored. They will probably just meet up in person because it would be easier to plan and untraceable. That 3.34 billion dollars could go to help poor countries upgrade their infrastructure. This would probably lower the number of terrorists. They could also use the money to educate criminals so they can have a positive benefit to communities.
I am surprised that only 40% is opposed to this. I think that the general public is becoming like cattle. They just do what they are told and do not actually understand the issues. That 60% of the population to me is way more of a threat than terrorists because they are the cause for devolution of society. They care more about feeling safe than actually being safe and are willing to give away they're rights. As Benjamin Franklin said "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security" this is true. The only real problem in the world is an incompetent society.
...the downhill tumble.
Hey, Anybody wanna meet up and go suicide bombin- Oops.
Oh dear god. What are we doing? Heading back towards that black and destructive hole that once consumed the world during the McCarthy era? What do you want from people? The worlds governments can already do whatever they want without us knowing. Now they're going to just blatantly tell us we are in a cyber prison? Do I really need to start using parchment again? I havent trained my pigeons yet. Its gonna be years before I can send bmail.
Wow, no rasism there...
We are gonna start running into the question of,"Who is monitoring the people that monitor the people?" Then we are really in trouble when that happens.
Yes, they could probably find out content if they really wanted to, but this simply states that they would know who you contacted and when. What's so wrong with that? Facebook shoves it into my face whenever so-and-so become new friends with what's-there-face anyway. I have nothing to hide, so what's the problem if they know who I'm talking to and at what time?
It is the mere concept of privacy that is the issue here. One might disagree, BUT, it is my right to keep the things I choose to myself including my personal correspondence.
I, too, have nothing to hide, but that doesnt mean that I want the DoJ probing my personal records without probable cause.
The key here is the citizen's right to privacy and that is the main focus of the uproar here.
Just an additional though... are you familiar with E.O. 12333? It is an executive order that was issued by Pres Reagan in the 1980s that stipulated the scope of Intelligence collection on US Persons. It stipulated that Intelligence agencies cannot collect on US Persons with out it being sanctioned by the US Attorney General. It also stipulated that an inadvertent collection of intel on a US Person could only be kept for 90 days or until it was determined whether or not the information was intelligence worthy, once the determination was made, it had to be discarded if it was determined to not have any sort of relevant intelligence value.
In my mind, that kind of legislation discussed in the article in addition to the patriot act, completely contradicts that executive order. It is wrong and it should not be allowed to move forward in the United States. As for other countries, I cannot speak for them. I can only hope that citizens of the other countries indicated in the article arent subjected to the same kinds of erosions of civil liberties.
Not too much of a surprise, wasn't UK already on its way to becoming a police state anyway?