by Mike Masnick
Fri, Oct 17th 2008 12:49pm
We recently noted that some articles were appearing in the UK about a plan by the government to track all phone calls, emails and internet surfing histories in that country in a giant database. The whole thing sounded so extreme we even doubted it was true. However, it appears to be based in fact, as the government is outlining the details of the plan, while at the same time agreeing to delay introducing it for at least year, in order to hear from the public (or, perhaps, to hope that public dislike of this proposal dies down enough that it can be introduced quietly). The backers of the plan stress that all they want is the data about the communications, rather than the communications themselves. So, that would mean they're interested in who called whom, not what was said, and who emailed whom, not what was written. That may be small comfort to some, but it still seems like a huge privacy violation, and the database is almost certainly to be abused and misused by those who have access to it.
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