UK Prime Minister David Cameron Wants More Snooping Powers Granted to Authorities

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UK Prime Minister David Cameron plans to increase UK authorities’ powers in monitoring Internet users. One of the cornerstones of his plan is reviving the so-called “snooper’s charter” to make spying on Internet communications easier, according to a report by the Independent.

Cameron spoke in Paris on Monday and in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris last week, said that there was a need to modernize a communications bill that was previously shot down by Liberal Democrat opposition. Conservatives plan to revive the legislation should they secure an overall majority in May’s election, the Independent said.

The “snooper’s charter,” or the Draft Communications Data Bill 2012, would have required ISPs to store records for 12 months. It would have also included the content of messages sent on social media, webmail and emails and phone calls, according to BBC News.

Cameron said that there should be no “means of communication” which cannot be read by authorities. He said that content of these messages should be obtained with a signed warrant from the home secretary.

One of the main objectives is to eliminate “safe spaces” for terrorists to communicate with each other online.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said that such a law would not pass if his party was elected.

Last year, the UK introduced an emergency legislation to ensure communications service providers retain metadata for 12 months and policy and security services access it.

“David Cameron doesn’t understand technology very well, so he doesn’t actually know what he’s asking for,” activist and Boing Boing co-editor Cory Doctorow said.

“David Cameron has already shown that he believes he can order the nation’s ISPs to block access to certain websites (again, for the record, this hasn’t worked very well),” he said. “The next step is to order Chinese-style filtering using deep packet inspection, to try and distinguish traffic and block forbidden programs. This is a formidable technical challenge.”


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