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Government faces backlash over web monitoring

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Hélène Mulholland and Robert Booth
London Guardian
April 2, 2012

David Davis, the former Conservative shadow home secretary, has warned that government plans to allow police and security services to extend their monitoring of the public’s email and social media communications are unnecessary and will generate huge public resentment.

Davis spoke out after proposals emerged for a system to allow security officials to scrutinise who is talking to whom, and exactly when the conversations are taking place, but not the content of the message.

The coalition plans are likely to feature in the Queen’s speech on 9 May and rely on internet service providers (ISPs) gathering the information and allowing government intelligence operatives to scrutinise it.

Labour tried to introduce a similar system using a central database tracking all phone, text, email and internet use but that was dropped in 2009. It followed concerns raised by ISPs and mobile phone operators over the project’s feasibility, and anxieties over who would foot the bill.

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This article was posted: Monday, April 2, 2012 at 6:43 am

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