Government pushing ahead with snooping database
"Home Secretary reaffirms plans for super database on electronic traffic."
Published: 16th October 2008 | Source: BBC News |
1984 becoming a reality?
It seems that as technology evolves, we are increasingly moving towards becoming a 'big brother' nation. The UK government has plans which will force ISP's to keep records of their customers browsing habits, emails, VOIP and instant messaging for two years. The records would be on a who, when and where format and would be used to combat terrorism and other serious crime, according to the government.
There has been harsh criticism to these plans, but in a speech made to an Institute for Public Policy Research commission yesterday, Jacqui Smith, the UK Home Secretary, has defended the plans, and stated that the government will be pushing ahead with them. In her speech, she promised that the data recorded would not include actual conversations or content within emails. In her speech she said the following:
Record keeping for telephone conversations and text messaging is already in effect here in the UK, and authorities can determine any individuals calls, who they were made to, when and for how long. This came into effect last September, as the UK fell inline with an EU directive. Part of this directive mandates that all electronic traffic must be recorded by 2009.
There have been several high profile attacks on the proposed plans, one such attack was from the Information Commissioner Richard Thomas, who made in a speech at the launch of the Information Commissioner Officer's Annual Report 2008. He called for a debate on the proposed plans and public consultation before it was legislated. In the speech he said:
"Before major new databases are launched careful consideration must be given to the impact on individuals' liberties and on society as a whole. Sadly, there have been too many developments where there has not been sufficient openness, transparency or public debate."