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UK Mass Surveillance Bill: The Return of a Bad Idea by Cindy Cohn

In copyright, law, politics, privacy on June 18, 2012 at 22:01

 

From: UK Mass Surveillance Bill: The Return of a Bad Idea by Cindy Cohn, Electronic Frontier Foundation, https://www.eff.org

This week the British government unveiled a bill that has a familiar ring to it. The Communications Data Bill would require all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and mobile phone network providers in Britain to collect and store information on everyone’s internet and phone activity.  Essentially, the bill seeks to publicly require in the UK what EFF and many others have long maintained is happening in the US in secret – and what we have been trying to bring to public and judicial review since 2005.  Put simply, it appears that both governments want to shift from surveillance of communications and communications records based on individualized suspicion and probable cause to the mass untargeted collection of communications and communications records of ordinary, non-suspect people.

This shift has profound implications for the UK, the US and any country that claims to be committed to rule of law and the protection of fundamental freedoms.

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