Every Word You Write
THE government is to expand hugely its powers to monitor email exchanges and website visits of every person in Britain.
Under plans expected to be announced in the Queen’s speech next month, internet companies will be told to install thousands of pieces of hardware to allow GCHQ, the government’s eavesdropping centre, to scrutinise “on demand” every phone call made, text message and email sent and website accessed in real time.
Under the current law, companies must keep records for some traditional types of phone and electronic communication for a year.
The new legislation would extend this provision to cover a much wider field, including social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and online video games.
An effort by Labour to introduce a similar law was shelved in 2006 after fierce opposition from the Tories, Liberal Democrats and privacy campaigners.