Britain’s “surveillance plans” incites sharp criticism

Britain has plans drafted to strengthen Internet and phone surveillance that will force Internet and communication service providers to store their information, like that of website visits or email exchange data, for probably a year. Twitter says this measure will give security services, or any such policing authority, the chance to access online communication data found over email activity or social media networking.

This also gives an opportunity to collect data related to non-UK residents which inadvertently can lead to legal action in countries outside UK that prohibits such activities and data collection, or censors its citizens. It also provides opportunity for hackers to access personal information.

On the other hand, there is also criticism that the present surveillance and monitoring systems are unequipped and perhaps could prove too expensive to meet high-tech communication of today. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales too has criticised the British government’s “snooping” plans, that’s being designed to track the internet use, email and text messaging of UK citizens. He said that Wikipedia and the web world in general, would move to encryption of its connections. Leading internet providers like Virgin Media and Vodafone also raised concerns with regard to the surveillance plan and retaining of “traffic data” and to storing third-party data crossing their networks.

The draft communication bill by the joint Commons and Lords committee had been criticised by internet companies and other quarters, as it infringes citizens’ right to privacy and is seen as potentially an abuse of state power. Twitter has in UK alone more than ten million British users, out of its 140 million users around the world.

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