Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, April 06, 2012

Warrantless tracking of the Internet

Without a constitution or a Bill of Rights, Brits have been subject to limitations and intrusions that would be controversial in the USA. For a second time, there's controversy in London (and beyond) about government tracking of private communications.

Britons Protest Government Eavesdropping Plans
British lawmakers and rights activists joined a chorus of protest Monday against plans by the government to give the intelligence and security services the ability to monitor the phone calls, e-mails, text messages and Internet use of every person in the country.

The Home Office said the measures were vital to provide police and security services with “communications data to investigate serious crime and terrorism and to protect the public.”

Under the proposal… a law to be introduced later this year would allow the authorities to order Internet companies to install hardware enabling the government’s monitoring agency… to examine individual communications without a warrant.

A similar effort to enhance the authorities’ powers was made by the previous Labour government in 2006, but it was abandoned after ferocious opposition from groups including the two parties — the dominant Conservatives and the smaller Liberal Democrats — which now form the coalition government…

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