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UK to monitor all cyber communications
Fri, 22 Oct 2010 03:06:35 GMT
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If the law comes into force all communication in the UK could be monitored.
The British coalition government intends to forge ahead with the previous Labor government's plans to intercept web communications, inviting protests by civil liberties groups.

The latest action by the government comes despite pre-election pledges from the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to reduce surveillance of citizens.

The plan would have all internet and cell phone carriers' record and log every call, email or website visit that goes on in the UK. The data would then be stored for at least a year.

The proposal to commence nationwide communication monitoring was reportedly set out in the government's Strategic Defense and Security Review, with particular emphasis placed on utilizing new technology.

The government will "introduce a program to preserve the ability of the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to obtain communication data and to intercept communications within the appropriate legal framework", said the review.

The review also went on to claim that "this program is required to keep up with changing technology and to maintain capabilities that are vital to the work these agencies do to protect the public".

The previous Labor government devised a plan to have ISPs, social-networking sites and other communications service providers gather traffic data on all web communications under the Interception Modernization Program.

Their scheme aimed to collect information on the sender, recipient, timing and location of every email and other message sent via the web. The data would then be stored in such a way as to allow law enforcement and intelligence agencies to track any individual and to see with whom they were communicating and when.

The British coalition government claims that the so-called 'security plans' are necessary to combat terrorism and organized crime. However, critics insist that it amounts to an invasion of privacy and violating civil liberties.

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