Saturday, September 14, 2002

big brother in the UK

A chilling article from the Guardian Unlimited on the monitoring of emails, internet habits and mobile phone usage in the UK:
The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), introduced in 2000, handed them extensive powers to intercept communications. Obtaining the content of phone calls or emails still requires a warrant from the home secretary and can only be done on grounds of national security, investigating serious crime or safeguarding economic wellbeing. However, Ripa allows police, the security services, customs, and the Inland Revenue to access communications records on their own authority for a much broader range of purposes, from national security to the collection of taxes.
They further report on even more intrusive legislation that has passed through the legislature since September 11th, 2001. Paranoia, or an accurate portrayal of the state of privacy in the United Kingdom? The collection of useful links at the bottom of the Guardian article do lead to some interesting pages. One is to the National Criminal Intelligence Service, which I found to be fascinating.

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