According to CNet, according to the Telegraph, according to the Sunday Times, a planned web monitoring law could soon allow the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) to monitor your online activity, mobile phone calls, and text messages in real time.
Though the government will still be unable to see the content of emails or text messages, the new law will let them monitor who you’re contacting and what websites you’re accessing.
The law, which may be officially announced during the Queen’s Speech in May, would make Internet service providers include special monitoring technological so that the government can see what you’re up to.
However, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s remember that the planned monitoring measures will still need to be approved in Parliament. Having already received plenty of backlash, it could face great opposition by those who view it as a dangerous invasion of privacy.
So, should we be worried? Emma Carr of Big Brother Watch thinks so, saying the proposed legislation represents the same kind of surveillance that’s seen in China and Iran. She wrote on the Big Brother Watch website: “These plans are an unprecedented attack on privacy online and it is far from clear this will actually improve public safety, while adding significant costs to Internet business.”
Despite the backlash, proponents of the planned legislation argue it will help the government fight terrorism. Lib Dem Lord Carllie insisted that the measures are only an extension of existing practices, and told Today that it “has potential for saving lives, preventing serious crime and helping people to avoid becoming victims of serious crime.”
What are your thoughts on the web monitoring plans? If passed, would the law be an invasion of privacy or a necessary protection against crime and terrorism? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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