News24

Cameron defends 'snooping' proposals

2012-04-04 11:02

London - Britain's prime minister on Tuesday defended controversial plans to monitor all calls and e-mails in the country, as a backlash over the proposals grew within the coalition government.

David Cameron sought to downplay worries that the proposals for an extended surveillance network covering the public's phone calls, texts, and web activity would erode civil liberties.

Monitoring digital communication is "absolutely vital" in stopping serious crime and terrorism, he stressed.

"This is not about extending the reach of the state into people's data, it's about trying to keep up with modern technology," he said.

The proposed network has been criticised by members of Cameron's Conservative Party as well as their coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats.

It is not yet clear what the changes will mean for the public. The government has said that only data such as times, dates, and addresses will be recorded, and that the contents of any communication will not be accessible without a warrant.

Home Secretary Theresa May insisted that the proposed legal changes, expected to be presented next month, will not target ordinary people.

"No one is going to be looking through ordinary people's e-mails or Facebook posts. Only suspected terrorists, paedophiles or serious criminals will be investigated," May said.

Comments
  • Carla - 2012-04-04 11:17

    ""No one is going to be looking through ordinary people's e-mails or Facebook posts. Only suspected terrorists, paedophiles or serious criminals will be investigated," May said. " And how can they guarantee that??? With their "war on terrorism", you can be fairly sure that most Muslims will be investigated, just in case. It's not right.

  • marcanthonytaylor - 2012-04-04 11:52

    What Mr Cameron's masters really mean with that bit of bollocks they gave him to read: Wherever you go, whatever you do, whoever you are - YOU are under surveillance. You are a potential criminal: Perhaps you secretly doubt the sanctity of corporate society or the laws made by the rich to govern the poor, or perhaps the soundness of capitalism itself! We cannot afford to assume that you don't. That's why there are cameras pointed at you on every street corner and in every building. That is why there are patrol cars in your area. Left unto itself a state of disorder and inequity returns to equilibrium. Our job is to perpetuate this one indefinitely.

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-04-04 12:07

    what cameron neglected to say was that everyone will be considered a suspect.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-04-04 12:55

    yea right and who gets to decide who will look at what. The Decline of western culture is a sad state of events, but their attempts at violating constitutional human rights must be stopped. Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli wrote in Chapter 24 of Lord George Bentinck: A Political Biography (1852), The particular equality of a particular race is a matter of municipal arrangement, and depends entirely on political considerations and circumstances; but the natural equality of man now in vogue, and taking the form of cosmopolitan fraternity, is a principle which, were it possible to act on it, would deteriorate the great races and destroy all the genius of the world. What would be the consequences on the great Anglo-Saxon republic, for example, were its citizens to secede from their sound principle of reserve, and mingle with their negro and coloured populations? In the course of time they would become so deteriorated that their states would probably be reconquered and regained by the aborigines whom they have expelled, and who would then be their superiors. The British government has enacted the very laws that will destroy it, do not let them take you down with them.

  • Fidel - 2012-04-04 14:06

    "A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny," wrote Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn I see that the Brits are learning a lot from their cousin yankees.

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