British police and MI5 get power to watch you on the web

Posted in: Government & Policy at 02/04/2012 18:02

Police and intelligence officers are to be handed the power to monitor people's messages online in what has been described as an "attack on the privacy" of vast numbers of Britons.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, intends to introduce legislation in next month's Queen's Speech which would allow law-enforcement agencies to check on citizens using Facebook, Twitter, online gaming forums and the video-chat service Skype.

Regional police forces, MI5 and GCHQ, the Government's eavesdropping centre, would be given the right to know who speaks to whom "on demand" and in "real time".

Also see:

Plans for greater email and web monitoring powers spark privacy fears
David Davis, the former Conservative shadow home secretary, has warned that government plans to allow police and security services to extend their monitoring of the public's email and social media communications are unnecessary and will generate huge public resentment.

Davis spoke out after proposals emerged for a system to allow security officials to scrutinise who is talking to whom, and exactly when the conversations are taking place, but not the content of the message.

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