The British government is taking extraordinary new powers to monitor everyone's emailing, internet browsing and phone calls
The recent report by the Interception of Communications commissioner, Sir Paul Kennedy notes that 519,260 requisitions of communications data from telephone companies and internet service providers were made in Britain last year. It is very mysterious who is doing the bulk of this spying, since no statistical breakdown is offered. But Sir Paul suggests the procedures may be a bit much for local authorities and things ought to be made easier for them.
The Home Office is busy doing just that. It is shortly to compel telecoms companies and internet service providers to keep details of all your emailing, browsing and phonecalls for up to 24 months. And it will specify in what form the information is to be kept. It is heartening that press and public have woken up to this snoopers' charter just as the final piece of the picture is hammered into place. It is being introduced in the form of a Statutory Instrument enforcing an EU directive - which means it is unlikely to be even debated in parliament and cannot be amended by our elected representatives. Perhaps that is why this is being released while MPs are on holiday.
They don't matter to the process