Far-reaching ‘Big Brother’ spy powers slammed

Sunday, April 1, 2012
By Paul Martin


SPIES will be able to collect information on everyone’s phone calls, texts and emails under Government plans for unprecedented ‘Big Brother’ snooping powers.

Ministers are preparing a major expansion of the law so MI5 can go further in securing evidence of wrongdoing.

Internet firms will be forced to make data available in “real time” on every one of its customers’ phone calls, text messages and emails. It would also include visits to web sites.

Civil liberties campaigners slammed the move as an attack on privacy.

And senior Tory backbencher David Davis said it was an unnecessary extension of the power of the state to “snoop” on its citizens.

He said: “It is not focusing on terrorists or on criminals. It is absolutely everybody.

“Our freedom and privacy has been protected by using the courts by saying ‘If you want to intercept, if you want to look at something, fine, if it is a terrorist or a criminal go and ask a magistrate and you’ll get your approval’.

“You shouldn’t go beyond that in a decent, civilised society but that is what is being proposed.

“They don’t need this law to protect us. This is an unnecessary extension of the ability of the state to snoop on ordinary innocent people in vast numbers. Frankly, they shouldn’t have that power.”

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