Campaigners have criticised plans by the David Cameron government to introduce closer monitoring by the police and intelligence agencies of the use of the internet, emails, phone calls and online gaming to prevent crime.
Under the plans, details of internet use in the UK will have to be stored for a year to allow police and intelligence services to have access it.
Records will include people’s activity on social network sites, webmail, internet phone calls and online gaming.
As Home Secretary Theresa May set out the plans, her senior party colleague, David Davis said the plans were “incredibly intrusive” and would only “catch the innocent and incompetent”.
Human rights organisation Liberty said: “It’s good that local councils won’t be able to watch the entire population but even law enforcement should be targeting suspects – not all citizens.
Just like the internet, any private home can be a crime scene, but should we install hidden cameras and microphones in every bedroom in the land?” The draft Communications Data Bill has been published, but is likely to face challenge in parliament with critics across the political establi
shment seeking its dilution or abandonment.
Theresa May told BBC: “It’s not about the content, it’s not about reading people’s emails or listening to their telephone calls. This is purely about the who, when and where made these communications and it’s about ensuring we catch criminals and stop terrorists.”
However, David Davis said: “If they really want to do things like this – and we all accept they use data to catch criminals – get a warrant. Get a judge to sign a warrant, not the guy at the next desk, not somebody else in the same organisation.”
He added: “The only people who will avoid this are the actual criminals, because there are ways around this – you use an internet cafe, you hack into somebody’s wi-fi, you use what’s called proxy servers, and they are just the easy ways.” (PTI)