The Telegraph is reporting that the UK will require all internet service providers and telecommunications companies to save and store all personal communications made by users for one year.
In addition, this stored personal information will be made available for use by 653 government departments and agencies including law enforcement, fire and other emergency services, the Financial Services Authority, prison personnel and local governments.
Shockingly, retrieving this personal information will not even require legal permission from a judge – permission from a department head is all that will be required.
The newly proposed legislation will drastically increase the amount of personal information that can be easily obtained by government employees and bureaucrats.
Under the proposed legislation all telephone calls, text messages, emails as well as web searches and other online activities by citizens will be saved for a year and will be made available for use by government bodies.
UK home secretary Chris Grayling warned that the new legislation has the potential for “mission creep,” where new powers enacted for one purpose “end up being used for completely different purposes.”
Ministers had originally planned to save all of this personal data on a centralized government-owned database, but decided against it due to not to privacy concerns.
Instead, privately controlled “Big Brother” databases will be mandated to store the information. Critics of the plan refer to it as “state-spying” and “covert surveillance” on the private citizens.
Most communications companies already save details of every user’s calls and emails for their own business reasons. However, most only do this for a few months.
The new proposal, which goes by the Orwellian name of “Intercept Modernisation Programme”, will require these companies to save their customer records for longer as well as broaden the types of information they save to include every online click.