UK Government Considering Real-Time Phone, E-Mail, Web Monitoring

Posted Apr 1, 2012

There is a new proposed United Kingdom legislation that would allow Internet service and broadband providers to pass personal browsing, e-mail, and call data to the intelligence services for real-time processing. This may include social networks and search engines activities such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

United Kingdom intelligence service GCHQ currently processes calls, websites, and e-mail data. The new plans would require ISPs to “mirror” al traffic through GCHQ to allow more detailed inspections on a law enforcement level.

?Communications data includes time, duration and dialling numbers of a phone call, or an email address. It does not include the content of any phone call or email and it is not the intention of Government to make changes to the existing legal basis for the interception of communications,? said a GCHQ spokesperson.

GCHQ, police, and other law enforcement agencies would need to present a Home Secretary issued or court-ordered search warrant to ISPs for them to hand over data for inspection. This legislation is expected to be announced at the Queen’s Speech in May.