UK government set to rush through emergency surveillance legislation

By Rich Edmonds on 10 Jul 2014 06:38 am EDT

The UK government is looking to reinforce powers of security services to require internet and phone providers to maintain records of customer email and calls. Emergency laws are to be introduced into the Commons next Monday, following private talks and gaining support of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats on the basis that there will be new board to oversee the functioning of new powers. The move is an effort to continue protecting UK citizens from external threats.

Transparency reports will be released on an annual basis confirming just how frequently police and security services are using the legislation. Expiring in 2016, the new laws will require fresh legislation post-general election. It's reported that there will be no powers to look at the content of phone calls, but location, date and phone numbers in question will be accessible. UK prime minister, David Cameron, recently explained why the emergency powers were being pushed through.

"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."

It's noted that a recent European court of justice ruling in April concluded that current laws invaded individual privacy, thus the UK government has taken action to ensure records are kept should investigations be started, requiring access to data retained by providers. The court ruling affected regulations requiring businesses to hold said date for up to 12 months.

What are your thoughts on the new legislation to reinforce surveillance?

Source: The Guardian

Reader comments

UK government set to rush through emergency surveillance legislation


Not rubbish, absolute fact.

This is not about protecting UK citizens, it's about protecting UK oligarchs and the parasite/political class from UK citizens.

Time for you to wake up.

Posted via CB10

Any social media organised protest can now be picked up, controlled, contained and nipped in the bud.

1984 was yesterday. Welcome to 2014.

Pasted via CB chen

Fact: You have a higher probability to be accidentally killed by police than by a terrorist.

Posted via CB10

According to the NSA scandal. No (or nearly no) information gained from these programs was helpful in preventing attacks. (at least they couldn't give one example)

""This enemy attacked not just our people, but all freedom-loving people everywhere in the world. The United States of America will use all our resources to conquer this enemy. We will rally the world. We will be patient, we will be focused, and we will be steadfast in our determination.... we will not allow this enemy to win the war by changing our way of life or restricting our freedoms." - George W. Bush ---------- hmmm, really now!!

Britain is already a surveillance state, you can't move for being watched and scrutinised while out and about, you can barely breathe for CCTV cameras all over the place. We already know that GCHQ is listening in to private citizens' calls and reading their emails, why on earth do we need this extra layer of "security" when the powers that be already know exactly what everyone's up to?

Having travelled extensively in both countries, I'd have to say it's a tie. Britain is far more gone than most people realise.

Wrong. At least they have laws that stand up and protect their citizens. America has become the land of the Greedy. Our congress does absolutely nothing to help it's people or to make our country better.

Posted by Antoniius via my sexy Gold and White Q10.

Yes, we are blessed in Canada, but we have our own spy agency who say gather electronic communications on foreign interests but not Canadians!

I don't think that is 100% true but it is what it is. CSEC busted and operation of where Brazil was using Ottawa airport to gather electronic intelligence and shut it down.

So Canadian citizens were involved to.

Personally I don't care but if any individual thinks they don't have a police file just cause they never had a speeding or got in trouble with the law they are mistaking.

Again I know for a fact the RCMP investigates individuals and builds files on them. Even those you think they are "living off the grid"

So personally I don't have any problems with intelligence gathering but I do when it it is "translated" into something it's not or when it is "analyzed"

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed 30

The Canadian Government is excellent at keeping it's citizens in the dark. I bet 99% of the country still thinks we weren't involved with the war in Iraq, when if fact we were secretly the third largest contributor of the US forces behind UK and Australia.


collecting data for security....a conflict in itself...
data retention is canceled in the EU for good reasons, but
it's not the first time UK is doing what they want to... so kick 'em out of the EU...
also spying out other members and friends, just the "american" way... NSA second edition...

It's people like that who have gotten ourselves into the current predicament.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
-Benjamin Franklin

Buy a bb, get a droid for free

Maybe I should clarify, I want the world to be a safer place. I don't want to loose my "Freedoms". There should be a way to do both and want to explore the idea futrther.

I was going to let it go, but you've done it twice now and its irking me
its "lose your freedoms" not "loose" ... unless your freedoms just need to be tightened up a little lol

We have freedom, if the law helps safeguard against a terror attack then great. Try to look from a victims perspective instead of thinking the security services give a toss about every little detail of every citizen's private life.

Posted via CB10

the security services were already observing the murderer of Private Lee Rigby, and yet still they allowed him to be butchered by extremists in a public high street. They needed no more information, indeed they failed in their duty of care with more than enough knowledge already in their possession. I believe the victims perspective was sadly betrayed by might also want to ask how good the government record is for protecting data. I'm sure they will leave it on a train or something like they have with NHS data too....

This is scary and crazy thinking . It appears this security propaganda (lies machine) has already clouded some people's proper (clear) thinking ability. Do not be fooled.

Posted via CB10

Protect our national security? That is what they want you to think. This has nothing to do with protecting anything, its more like lets find ways to SPY on our citizens and pretty much destroy there rights to privacy. And you will see, BlackBerry will be forced to comply or no business allowed in the UK. BS.

I don't know this for a fact but doesn't all world traffic (most anyway) travel from the US to the UK and then through to other countries? If this is right, it only makes sense in their larger plan to capture ALL world communications through their "legal" dragnet.

They know most of our lives are too coushie to do anything about this besides complain... and they know how to ignore that.

Welcome to the second phase of the new world.

A slow climb to the top is always more rewarding. Sent using my BlackBerry Z10.

I think we have to accept that a 1984 level of surveillance is the norm now, and will get much worse once mass data processing becomes even more advanced. Absolutely nothing can be done to stop it, and the public political process in just a show.

I'd love to see private messaging, but forget it folks. BlackBerry may be less leaky than the others, but when it comes to the government, it's obviously a different story.

Posted via CB10

I envy Africa sometimes. All the beautiful savanna and wild animals. Lakes and rivers.......yea without this sickening surveillance!!!

 Incurable Q10  Syndrome.....Keep away!!!!!!

You apparently haven't heard about the Google flying balloons proving Internet to those remote places ;)

There are plenty of people in Africa who would take surveillance over having their daughters kidnapped in the night, their families slaughtered for being of a different tribe than their neighbours, or just to have some sort of governance.

There are a lot of ridiculous statements floating around of people saying any surveillance is an infringement of their freedom. This isn't entirely so, but there is a compelling case for debating where the dividing line is between giving law enforcement and intelligence services the tools they need to keep their citisens safe while still maintaining the standards and rights of those people. Are we there yet? Not entirely, but that line will always be changing as technology changes and new forms of communication develop.

Well it seems you think what happens in some a few African countries then applies to all of Africa. I have news for your sir/ma'am,there are peaceful countries in Africa some of which you can hardly here or see on TV because of the tranquility and soberly atmosphere therein.Botswana,Malawi,Zambia and Seychelles but to name a few.And yes stop believing in whatever you read or watch on TV. The very thought that somebody is eavesdropping or intercepting my emails or texts in the name off 'my' security is outright stupid. Especially in this time of political lies.

 Incurable Q10  Syndrome.....Keep away!!!!!!

Not at all: yes, there are a good deal of very stable and successful African nations, but using 'Africa' as a catchall opens you up to both the good and bad. I know several people both from Botswana and Sudan, and their views of the continent are quite different.

The overall essence of security is always open to debate in a free society since it can easily fall too far in the wrong direction. Transactional data, like what the British are requesting, isn't quite to the level of outright eavesdropping, but the real question is who the gatekeeper of the information is, and how it can be applied.

Just read that France has intercepted Emails from a top terrorist leader and someone living in France,about plans to bomb the Eifel Tower and the Lourves,so it's all good.

"Just read"? ..."Someone"?...."bomb"?..."Eiffel tower"......Hahahahahaha somebody say SHEEP!!!!

 Incurable Q10  Syndrome.....Keep away!!!!!!

And you just believed all that?....."Iraq has weapons of mass destruction ".."Saddam can activate chemicals missiles in 8 minutes"......Does that ring a bell?And people like you believed and supported those war bozos, right?

 Incurable Q10  Syndrome.....Keep away!!!!!!

Precision: the man who had these terrorist projects was stopped one year ago and is imprisoned. "Today", this affair is put in a french newspaper (Le Parisien) while the french government wants to obtain the administrative blocking, thus without the decision of a judge, of sites "known" as sites encouraging the terrorism.

Use Tor
Use encrypted social networks and IM to send "emails"
Use encrypted VoIP

Everything else is public information and you wont be able to convince many people to protect their privacy, they simply don't care.

You simply don't value your privacy. I hope you never have to deal with identity theft, fraud, etc.

Why don't you install microphones in every room of your house and put speakers out in the street plus stream live on the Internet since you have nothing to hide?

I'm sorry are we still talking about the security services using surveillance to thwart terror attacks or identity theft and privacy infringements by criminals?

You completely through me posting in this thread.

Posted via CB10

It doesn't make much of a difference. Any ISP with poor security practices will leak data. Look at Target, Nortel, etc.
Any small UK business which usually don't give a *** about security will hold a lot of information about people, simply because they're legally forced to store it.

They have a strong legal obligation to protect that data as well. Just like the government has a critically important role to safeguard it's citizens.

Posted via CB10

Those obligations don't prevent leaks. A lot of companies don't even know their servers or phones are leaking data.

The law forces businesses to store more private data. That's more data to leak, mine, etc. That's where I have a problem with such law.
Criminals have the know-how to protect their conversations and will find the new measures laughable.

This fallacy has been used time and time again by people who have no clue about the impact of privacy erosion. Have people already forgotten what happens when one or a few lunatics decide that they are superior to the rest? 7 million dead Jewish people and 20 million+ dead Slavs and Roma people are not enough?

Bottom line is this...privacy erosion opens the door to profiling, be it ethnic, racial, socio-economical, political, etc. It leads to segregation and makes any desention a crime, irrespective of that said desention being justified or not. In its worst forum it leads to mass extermination of while groups of people who happen to fit a specific "profile".

Next time you want to use that fallacy as a defence, think about what would happen if the said government that is monitoring you decided that they don't like people specifically like you.

Posted via CrackBerry App

+++!!! You got it!!! We should get angry about these infringements on privacy. The Government does NOT know best! Wake up people.


Thats some great logic there. Only terrorists or egomaniacs would ever seek to keep their information private. /sarcasm.

There is a distinct difference between protecting your privacy and going to extreme lengths to hide your online activities from security services (that would only be allowed to access such data with sufficient evidence you are a risk to the public).

I believe there are non-UK citizens confusing this thread by talking about events and practices which are irrelevant.

Posted via CB10

If most people supported this in Britain, there would be no need for an emergency session. It's to force it through against the wishes of the average person. Sad to see.

Posted via CB10

You hit the nail on the head man.
I just spent 2 years in Qatar and have Syrian friends Iranian friends and have spent the last 20 months in Iraq and 100% agree that those are the cold hard facts.
Government tells lies through media and spin it

"Powered by BlackBerry" Z30's are addictive as Crack

Well, well, doomsayers abound!!! We ALL know we are being watched, does it affect the way you live your life? I live my life the way I want to, so government watches, hope they like what they find! LMAO. Enjoy

Posted via CB10

fellow ignoramus anyways.

what you guys are possibly not considering is that there is potential for abuse of this surveillance, yes, even by governments. Governments are not comprised of solely altruistic individuals seeking only to help their fellow citizens; not by any means.
Blindly letting a government do whatever they want isn’t only irresponsible, its plain stupid. Pick up a history book sometime and maybe realize that there’s more to this issue than "bla bla bla i've not nothing to hide, and if you didn’t you wouldn’t care about the government spying on us" .. That mind set is the most childish, narrow minded point of view out there, and usually only held by people that are ignorant to the issue as a whole.

I believe people are afraid of this legislation simply because we live in a society where technology is increasingly used to prosecute unreasonably.
As example, there is a whole generation of otherwise law-abiding, safety conscious people who have been prosecuted for inadvertently stepping over a speed limit whilst overtaking on a dual carriageway. These people don't tailgate, don't drive dangerously, yet these are the ones who get prosecuted.

We live an an age when someone tweets along the lines of 'flight delayed again. I should blow up this airport' half out of frustration, and half out of irony because they've been stuck for six hours, they get prosecuted to the full extent of the law, even although any reasonable person could see they had no intention of actually blowing up an airport.

I, for one, want to be protected from terrorist threats. My fear is that terrorist threats are not what surveillance measures will be used for.

When even a joke or a statement is made out of clear frustration can lad someone in the dock, who's to say that - in a few years - people start getting police cautions because of private SMS exchanges between mates?

Posted via CB10

Finally somebody thinking straight. It's not about "can this information be used to protect from terrorist attacks". It's about how this information "will be used to enforce any sort of rule aimed at controlling and conforming the population to the ruling class". All it takes is one more "law" and ordinary will become extraordinary, and then off to the gallows you go.

Posted via CrackBerry App

Yope. Total control and censorship.

So the elites stay in power and get their cut of any transaction, monetary or not.

Pasted via CB chen

How are phone providers going to access email accounts that they don't have servers.

Posted via CB10


For me the whole subject of invasion of privacy issue is a non one.

Do I really care that a government know I surf porn or buy Polo shirts at GAP?

Posted via Digicel Z10

You would if I decided that surfing porn was a crime punishable by hard prison time, which I may decide, at any time.

Posted via CrackBerry App

V for Vendetta

' People shouldn't be afraid of the Government, it is Government that should be afraid of the people. '

Posted via CB10

"now is not the time to be scaling back on our ability to keep our people safe."

Anyone notice that it is never the time to scale back?

Posted via CB10

This is just so obvious.
Unbelievable noone really cares about that stuff going on.

UK & US Government are two of the most corrupt ones on this planet!!!

Ben Franklin put it something like this: Those who give up freedom for security, shall have neither.

I don't really care tbh, it's not like I'm hiding anything, they already have my information and more of it will send them to sleep... my life's that boring haha. Although I don't like the idea of them reading emails coming from my bank accounts.

I can see how important people high up will be very angry about this change.

Unless there is sufficient evidence your plotting a terror attack or affiliated with a terror group they won't be looking at your bank emails.

Posted via CB10

It is another way to get your privacy rights away from you. Invasion of privacy. Well people will just need to encrypt your email. They have been monitoring phone calls for years.

George Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning for all mankind... not to be a guidebook for those who rule over you... Sadly it's now to late for all of you... you are powerless to prevent it, keep watching your TVs... life is good... go back to sleep...sleep...zzz...zzz Baa,baa. :/

Posted via CB10

I bet you they'll pass it while everybody is busy watching the World Cup Final, you know, the important things in life: Bread and Circuses

Ah yes, panem et circenses...the Romans got the magic formula right.

Posted via CrackBerry App

Dole money and cable TV. Keep the masses from getting restless.

And the middle class and small business owners in the squeeze, because they have to support both, elites and bottom feeders.

Sorry, no offense. I wish wealth and work was spread more evenly.

Pasted via CB chen

Doing these sort of things solidifies their power and gets the government one step closer to what they are looking for, which is absolute power. We all know that power corrupts. They tell us they need to do this to protect us and keep us safe!! I'm sure we'd all be pretty safe in concentration camps or prisons, give up your freedom and all those who have fought to maintain freedom for us will have died in vain.

I don't think a lot of people care who died for their freedom. They care that they have uninterrupted access to Candy Crush.

Posted via CrackBerry App

Why are you all getting worked up? This is about legalising the way terror threats are monitored, not your dirty text messages to Debbie or Tracy! Build a bridge..... Then get over it!

Posted via CB10

"essential to fight the threat from criminals and terrorists targeting the UK."

So it appears that the new policy allows them to fight "criminals" not just terrorists. So if you talk about anything illegal on a call, email or text (anything atall no matter how small) they now have the go ahead to use evidence they collected. For example if your wife texts you that she accidentally ran a red light

I swear UK is BY FAR the most disgusting, sleaziest scumbag place when it comes to government eavesdropping in Western countries, it's the worst offender - did you that even your local TOWN COUNCIL can decide to start record your communication WITHOUT A COURT ORDER? Yes, that's the UK, the most pathetic, hypocrite country in the Western World (the same country who welcomes any bloody dictator or their offspring, Russian mobster or underworld oligarch with citizenship for sale as long as they promise they will only shoot at each other outside of the UK and, most importantly, bring a giant pile of cash to pay for their new citizenship.) Broaf.

Was trying to be sarcastic!! But sometimes we have to go with the flow, I don't like being "spied on" either, but what can we do? Stop using email, phone, etc.? The "bad" guys have been spying on for years, what's the difference?

Posted via CB10

As someone who isn't a British citizen, I'm deeply disappointed by this erosion of individual rights in the country that has historically championed them.

Posted via CB10

Wow what a joke. Probably only a matter of time until they try that in Canada.

Know your enemy...

Posted via CB10

Surveillance state but that doesn't prevent anything.
Just makes the post-mortem easier.
This legislation is simply one more "after the horse has bolted" moves.
Why is this govt so douchy?

Z10 STL100-2 EE UK

I'm glad the general consensus is that this is pure bs. Because it is. This is getting out of hand.

Posted via CB10

The only "terrorists" are the ones putting FEAR into the public.

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.