UK Government Plans To Track ALL Web Use:
MI5 To Install 'Black Box' Spy Devices To Monitor British Internet Traffic
UK spy agencies
want to install 'black box' surveillance devices across the country's
communications networks to monitor internet use, it emerged today.
A report by
an influential committee of MPs tells how spooks are keen to implement
a nationwide surveillance regime aimed at logging nearly everything
Britons do and say online.
The spy network
will rely on a technology known as Deep Packet Inspection to log
data from communications ranging from online services like Facebook
and Twitter, Skype calls with family members and visits to pornographic
But civil liberties
and privacy campaigners have reacted with outrage, saying that the
technology will give the government a greater surveillance capability
than has ever been seen.
by Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee, published on
Tuesday, gives UK intelligence agencies' perspective on the government's
draft Communications Data Bill, which is intended to update surveillance
argues that swift access to communications data is critical to the
fight against terrorism and other high-level crime, but it has been
delayed after the Liberal Democrats dropped support for the bill.
MI5 chief Jonathan
Evans told the committee: 'Access to communications data of one
sort or another is very important indeed. Its part of the
backbone of the way in which we would approach investigations.
'I think I
would be accurate in saying there are no significant investigations
that we undertake across the service that dont use communications
data because of its ability to tell you the who and the when and
the where of your targets activities.'
The Bill has
encountered stiff opposition, but authorities have been at pains
to stress that they're not seeking unfettered access to the content
of emails or recordings of phone calls.
claim, what they are after is what many have described as 'outside
of the envelope' information: Who sends a message, where and how
it is sent, and who receives it.
while the email addresses of senders and recipients would be available
to agencies, they would still need to obtain a court order for access
to the contents of the emails.
A similar situation
would apply in the case of mobile phone calls, with the callers'
identities and locations available to agencies, along with the time
of the call and its duration, but agents restricted from listening
without authorisation from the courts.
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