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Government unveils expanded 'Big Brother' plan
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith claimed
that storing details of individuals’ communications was vital to prevent further terrorist atrocities.
Activities which will be subject to snooping for the first time include visits
to social networking sites such as Facebook, auction sites such as eBay, gaming websites and chatrooms.
Police and security services will not be
able to access the precise content but will know each site visited, and to whom and when a phone call, text message or email was sent.
If this sets alarm bells ringing, they could seek a Ministerial warrant to intercept exactly what is being sent, including the content.
The billions of pieces of data are likely
to be stored for a year or more. The cost
is estimated to be at least £1billion, and
could be far higher.
Last night MPs and privacy groups attacked the proposals as 'Stalinist', 'Orwellian' and a reversal of the presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
One opponent said: ‘They are making us all suspects.’
A leaked memo written by sources close to the project revealed it was fraught with technical difficulties.
Officials are split between placing the vast amount of data to be collected on a huge central Government database or forcing service providers to store the information,
to be accessed on demand.
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