Diverse range of services to be given snooping rights in the UK

Following from last weeks news that there would be amendments to bills passed through the UK parliament to allow MI5 to snoop internet traffic, now it has been revealed that there will be more changes to the law which will allow a variety of government agencies to look at addresses of users, caller IDs, email addresses, mobile phone locations and web sites visited.

This is just another revelation in the continuing battle by the governments in the UK and Europe to attempt to reduce the civil liberties of citizens and increase their ability to control and monitor what we do on and offline. These new powers will be given to departments like the Environment and Food Standards Agencies and other government bodies like the fire authority and Postal Services Commission. Before this unexpected move snooping in this manner was limited to law enforcement and intelligence related organisations but now the use of this information is to become more widespread.

The director of the Foundation for Information Policy Research has stated: "Two years ago, we were deeply concerned that these powers were to be given to the police without any judicial oversight. Now they're handing them out to a practically endless queue of bureaucrats in Whitehall and town halls. These bodies are going to obtain this personal data on anyone they wish, without any effective way of checking what they're doing,"

This will be debated in parliament this week and the measures could come into effect as early as August. The Home Office hasn't commented on why these agencies want access to the information but has only stated that they have expressed an interest. They did say that the use of the information will be regulated to only allow it to be utilised in situations where law enforcement and national security related issues are involved, but the average person will surely see this more as an invasion of privacy than a increase in security. Hopefully the rest of the world will see that civil liberty is a great privilege that people want and they won't take steps to quash this privilege as the UK has done.

News source: Vnunet

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