"The government will be able to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK under new legislation set to be announced soon".according to the BBC
Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said any legislation requiring communications providers to keep records of contact would need "strong safeguards on access", and "a careful balance" would have to be struck "between investigative powers and the right to privacy.
And why should this came as a surprise to anyone? There has been a facility just outside Oswestry in Shropshire that has been able to monitor all phone calls made in the UK and this has been there for at least 15 years. Of course few people actually know what this building does as it just used to appear as a BT building.
No doubt any e-mail type checking would involve the same process of using "key words" to highlight whatever they might be looking for.
and as soon as I know what the keywords are I will make sure my e mails are sprinkled liberally with them, however nonsensical it makes them. As it is taxpayers who will be paying for all this, may as well give the civil service some work to do. (I realise that machinery will be looking for the keywords, but when it flags them up someone will have to read it).
I very much doubt that this is as bad as reported. The monitoring of every e-mail and every website is of no great interest however if you monitor suspect sites or suspect terrorists then you can identify patterns which can be of great interest. The critical bit in the report is "But it would enable intelligence officers to identify who an individual or group is in contact with, how often and for how long. They would also be able to see which websites someone had visited." Sudden changes in behaviour can be just as interesting.
"This type of interception has been going on at least since the mid nineties and was given the name Echelon,"
Echelon is concerned with satellite traffic, and is a joint venture between America, the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. There are ground stations here that are rumoured to handle Echelon data, but it's mainly a question of conjecture.
The new legislation would be UK-specific, and nothing to do with Echelon.
My response was specifically in relation to kidsis mentioning keywords and how Echelon used keywords to monitor email, fax, radio and telephone communication thereby emphasising that monitoring communication by keywords is nothing new.