The UK government is to reinforce powers of security services to require internet and phone providers to maintain records of customer email and calls. Emergency laws are to be introduced into the Commons next Monday, following private talks and gaining support of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats on the basis that there will be a new board to oversee the functioning of new powers. The move is an effort to continue protecting UK citizens from external threats.
Details are due to be announced at a Downing Street press conferenceÃ‚Â on Thursday morning. TheÃ‚Â PrivacyÃ‚Â and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will be required to check on how the powers are used.
Prime minister, David Camero. Stated,
“It is the first duty of government to protect our national security and to act quickly when that security is compromised. As events in Iraq and Syria demonstrate, now is not the time to be scaling back on our ability to keep our people safe. The ability to access information about communications and intercept the communications of dangerous individuals is essential to fight the threat from criminals and terrorists targeting the UK.”
“No government introduces fast track legislation lightly. But the consequences of not acting are grave. I want to be very clear that we are not introducing new powers or capabilities Ã¢â‚¬â€œ that is not for this parliament. This is about restoring two vital measures ensuring that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies maintain the right tools to keep us all safe.”
There will be no power to look at the content of phone calls, only location, date and the phone numbers. Government sources say they have been forced to act due to European court of justice ruling in April saying the current laws invaded individual privacy.
The government says if there had been no new powers there would have been no obligation on phone and internet companies to keep records if there was a UK court challenge to the retention of data.[signoff predefined=”Enjoy this?” icon=”icon-users”][/signoff]
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