New ‘Snooping’ Law ‘Needed To Keep UK Safe’

Emergency law requiring data to be stored for 12 months is announced, amid fears over Britons fighting in Syria and Iraq.

2:18pm UK, Thursday 10 July 2014

There are reports that the government will introduce emergency laws giving MI5 and police the power to log and record phone calls and texts. Emma Carr from Big Brother Watch questions why it needs to be an emergency.

MI5 and the police will be able to read people’s emails and listen to people’s mobile phone conversations under emergency laws, David Cameron has said.

The Prime Minister said the measures were needed to “maintain powers to help keep us safe from those who would harm UK citizens”, which was essential given the threat from unrest in Syria and Iraq.

The laws will mean internet firms and other companies will be required to store data on “who contacted whom and when” for 12 months.

And he said security services would be able to listen to phone calls or read emails, although they would need to request a warrant, which would have to be signed off by a secretary of state, to do so.
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Announcing the move alongside Nick Clegg, who had been staunchly against a previously suggested “snooper’s charter”, he conceded the measures would only be temporary and the public would be given access to details of warrants requested for the first time.

Under plans detailed in the Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill:

:: Firms will have to retain phone and email detail for 12 months.

:: The number of public bodies allowed to request phone and email details will be limited – Royal Mail, pensions bodies and charities no longer given access.

:: Councils will be banned from asking for information directly from internet and phone providers.

:: A senior diplomat will oversee how information requests can be shared with other countries.

:: There will be an annual transparency report on the warrants issued and why.

:: There will be a review of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which allows councils to snoop on people.

:: All powers are only temporary and will stop at the end of 2016.
Theresa May announces details of child abuse inquiry Theresa May made a statement in Parliament on the powers

Mr Cameron said the emergency legislation, which is expected to go in front of the Commons on Tuesday, was necessary because the European Court of Justice ruled an EU directive on holding data interfered with the right to respect for private life.

He said some companies had threatened to stop co-operating because they were unsure of the law and many were poised to start deleting data that could be vital to the security services.

When asked if the measures were simply “state-sponsored phone and email hacking”, Mr Cameron said the public should be more worried if the Government did not introduce the new legislation.

The Prime Minister said:”I am simply not prepared to be a prime minister who has to address the people after a terrorist incident and explain that I could have done more to prevent it.”

And he stressed the powers, which have the backing of Labour, were the same as had been operating under the EU directive until it had been struck out, and which had helped to prevent terror plots.

He said: “It is the first duty of government to protect our national security and to act quickly when that security is compromised. As events in Iraq and Syria demonstrate, now is not the time to be scaling back on our ability to keep our people safe.

“The ability to access information about communications and intercept the communications of dangerous individuals is essential to fight the threat from criminals and terrorists targeting the UK.”

The Government has said that Britons radicalised fighting alongside jihadists from terror group ISIS in Syria and Iraq present the biggest threat to the UK.

Mr Clegg said that “liberty and security had to go hand-in-hand” and stressed the measures were temporary and a greater debate on the powers the Government had in a “post Snowden era” was essential.

Britain’s top cop Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “At some levels it geniunely helps us save lives, for example if we have kidnaps it’s a vital thing that we need, it’s also important in homicide investigations.

“If we lose it – and there’s some danger that we are already losing it – then we will all be less safe.”

Emma Carr, acting director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “It is a basic principle of a free society that you don’t monitor people who are not under suspicion.


  • theunhivedmind

    First of all why is this such and emergency until 2016? I can assure you that now this draconian law is passed that it will continue or worsen after 2016. Once you give these nefarious vermin a foot in the door you have had it, just like with a bailiff. Is there something bigger going on tied to the economy where security has to be beefed up due to threats from an internal nefarious monetary power? Never believe the third truth (bullshit) that you are fed by the media, there are always two other versions of the truth and the first truth is never what you are allowed to know or even many officials who only get the second truth. It is strange to see them just giving a 2016 time frame. Is this the time they expect to continue the ISIS/ISIL farce hoping to get control of areas of the Middle East they have been unable to get prior? Whilst they use this pathetic false-flag ISIS/ISIL group they can scare Europe and the West into submission with the fake War on Terror.

    So now it is time to start encrypting all email and using anonymous systems to send the email through foreign email services never msn, gmail, yahoo etc. Never use email services provided by your hosting company such as talktalk, EE, Virgin and BT. Stick with third party email hostings outside of the ‘Five Eyes’ nations. I also recommend you find an old PC with an older AMD processor or much older Intel chipset (way before the coreduo’s) to do the encryption since these new chips have the secret always on system mentioned by Jim Stone. Then you can transfer the file back to your main PC when encrypted elsewhere. Do not make it easy for this vermin.

    -= The Unhived Mind


  • cando

    If they lost control would they still use the 6 and V,X and all seeing eye?

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