Wednesday, May 29, 2013

UK to step up internet surveillance

ImageThe British government has revived plans to snoop into people's emails, internet accounts and mobile phone texts.

Following the recent killing of British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, UK's home secretary Theresa May said that thousands face risk of being radicalized by hate preachers and the charter legislation for snooping needs to be revived.

The controversial bill will involve tracking individuals' email, internet and mobile text use. The proposal has the full backing of Britain's monarch Queen Elizabeth.
The Queen during her recent speech to parliament gave a complete go ahead to it introduction, saying, "My government will continue to reduce crime and protect national security. Legislation will be introduced to reform the way in which offenders are rehabilitated in England and Wales. Legislation will be brought forward to introduce new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour, cut crime and further reform the police."

"In relation to the problem of matching internet protocol addresses, my government will bring forward proposals to enable the protection of the public and the investigation of crime in cyberspace," she added.

On investigating crime in cyberspace, Downing Street said, "We are continuing to look at this issue closely and the government's approach will be proportionate, with robust safeguards in place."

Whitehall sources said the government has already started talks with internet and phone companies over ways to introduce the Bill and make it effective.

The Downing Street briefing note said, "This is not about indiscriminately accessing internet data of innocent members of the public, it is about ensuring that police and other law enforcement agencies have the powers they need to investigate the activities of criminals that take place online as well as offline."

May said it was essential that police and intelligence agencies have access to information such as emails and internet data to counter extremism.

The beheading of British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich raised calls for a further crackdown. The killer Michael Adebolajo was a "well-mannered boy before he took over to violent Islamism", according those who knew him. Intelligence agencies later found that he was radicalized by hate preachers living in Britain through the internet.

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