Proposed UK law would monitor all emails and web access

If you live in the UK, your emails and website visits could soon be monitored, in real time, by the country's government if a proposed law is put into effect. The BBC reports that the intelligence agency GCHQ would be able to monitor emails, website access, texts and phone calls under the proposed legislation.

The report claims that the proposal could be officially announced this May as part of the annual Queen's Speech before being voted on in Parliament. The GCHQ would not look into the content of any of these communication services without first getting a warrant. However, the law would allow the government to know the name of the person who is using the service, who he or she is contacting and for how long.

In a statement, the Home Office claims it needs to have these additional monitoring rights to "maintain the continued availability of communications data as technology changes". However, some UK politicians have already slammed the proposal. One of them is Conservative MP David Davis. He states:

What this is talking about doing is not focusing on terrorists or criminals, it's absolutely everybody's emails, phone calls, web access... All that's got to be recorded for two years and the government will be able to get at it with no by your leave from anybody.

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31 Comments

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Meh just use a VPN or move out of the UK. You'r a fool if you think your not already being monitored.

Most people have facebook accounts here, sign up for dating websites, game forums, have game accounts, steam accounts and profiles all over the internet and they are worrying about this?

Ask yourself this.. Whats your secret question for one of your e-mails? Is that secret question easy for someone to get? I.E can they just check your facebook and then get into your e-mail? Can someone just get your secret question by becoming your friend and asking a friend if yours on facebook or something for the answer? Or can someone just fake a phone freak to get your question?

Get into your e-mail account then you can use your ebay, paypal contact companies, take out loans, order crap to another location etc etc etc.. (funny thing is this legislation would help stop this it will do more good than bad its worth the gamble for public safety and to stop the illegal downloaders and tax dodgers.)

I bet the above is true for most. Quit the QQ and GTFO the internet. If you got nothing to hide your all cool. If your trying to make a bomb and get busted then your a dick and i am glad.

I will still sleep at night knowing i an doing everything legally and legit.. If your not.. boo hoo hope you get busted.

Easy way around this and clog the system up is put "kill cameron" or "blow up tories" in every mail, this would bring the whole thing to a halt

Let us hope that encrypting technologies become more prevalent and easier to use. For a while I used Off the Record with Pidgin (http://www.cypherpunks.ca/otr/)

It worked well, but the other person had to have Pidgin as well, I had to tell them to accept the message , it was complicated and didn't always work. I think Skype might still be encrypted? It used to have a lock icon that would make it up front. We really need to push for these things to be standard.

It doesn't matter if you are or aren't doing anything illegal. Being spied on isn't cool. I want to be stealth.

ObiWanToby said,
Let us hope that encrypting technologies become more prevalent and easier to use. For a while I used Off the Record with Pidgin (http://www.cypherpunks.ca/otr/)

It worked well, but the other person had to have Pidgin as well, I had to tell them to accept the message , it was complicated and didn't always work. I think Skype might still be encrypted? It used to have a lock icon that would make it up front. We really need to push for these things to be standard.

It doesn't matter if you are or aren't doing anything illegal. Being spied on isn't cool. I want to be stealth.

Skype has "lawful intercept" capabilities, i.e. wiretapping is built-in.

And who is going to fund this? & you guys remember talking about violations of rights at Egypt for cutting off the internet?

What makes you think your usage is not already monitored?

You i.s.p. monitors and records it and in the feds ask for it they get your record.

leesmithg said,
What makes you think your usage is not already monitored?

You i.s.p. monitors and records it and in the feds ask for it they get your record.

Your ISP doesn't monitor and record your emails and everything that you do or say on the internet in real time, nor do they have the capability. It would cost a fortune. I think your tinfoil hat is on too tight.

leesmithg said,
What makes you think your usage is not already monitored?

You i.s.p. monitors and records it and in the feds ask for it they get your record.

Mine doesn't.

What are they going to do with email servers which are using SSL encrypted direct delivery? Or they are going to ban encryption for law abiding citizens? Criminals won't listen anyway - this is why they are criminals.

I think another UK poppet should spend more time lecturing other countries how to be more democratic!

Midnight Mick said,
As this was originally announced on the 1st April can we be sure that it wasn't simply an April fools joke or is it confirmed now?

It was definitely not an April fools joke. It's has been chugging along in the background for a while now, and it's just a continuation of Labour's Interception Modernisation Programme.

Midnight Mick said,
As this was originally announced on the 1st April can we be sure that it wasn't simply an April fools joke or is it confirmed now?

It was just announced on BBC Radio 1 a few minutes ago, so clearly not a joke. Even if it was, it's not funny...

n_K said,
If you think they don't already do this, you're an idiot.

I'm pretty certain that there are closed programmes setup out there setup to monitor communications. They aren't currently allowed to use that as evidence in courts as it'd blow the cover of said monitor. Those such setups will be used to *TRY* and track and monitor high risk criminals, be it the pedos, terrorists, or anon hackers.

However, the proposal what we're seeing being annonced yesterday would have the ability track everyone's commnications, reagardless of if you're sending a picture of your newborn baby to your gran in Australia, talking about how you crashed your plane in Microsoft Flight Sim X and god forbid you want to speak your mind to a closed group and want to use naughty words or call cameron a knob head. I'm pretty sure if someone can get put in jail for saying things on twitter, i'll certainly be you going in jail for saying it on a phone call, text or email... but the extend of the proposial means that they monitor all traffic, meaning you could be held up for posting on an online dirary that only you have access to, not shared with anyone else, over your own written personal thoughts.

Regardless of all that, the true criminals that the government is trying to catch will use encrypted connections, proxies, VPNs, bounces, Tor etc etc and they'll not be caught because the monitoring setup won't even be able to differentiate encrypted traffic from terrorists using a https enabled chat site to nurse using a https shift rota site.

At the end of the day, it'll be the public who get tracked, monitored and controlled. It certainly feels more and more like we're living in a dictatorship country with some kind of fake freedom.

mbowman said,
Just wait till they add an internet tax.

Don't forget Computer Tax on top of that. Then take away the mouse and keyboard tax, then the monitor tax before that as welll.

mquiny said,

Don't forget Computer Tax on top of that. Then take away the mouse and keyboard tax, then the monitor tax before that as welll.

Using a tablet instead of a mouse and keyboard would be regarded as aggressive tax avoidance.