MI5 will be able to monitor all e-mails

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Monday, May 1, 2000


MI5 'will be able to monitor all e-mails'


The intelligence service is reportedly building a new surveillance centre to monitor all e-mails and Internet messages sent and received in Britain.

The Sunday Times newspaper reported the centre, at a cost of #25 million (HK$305 million), would be up and running within a year inside the London headquarters of the counter-intelligence agency MI5.

Police and MI5 would need Home Office permission to search for e-mail and general Internet traffic.

The British Government will require Internet service providers such as AOL to have "hardwire" links to the new computer facility so that messages can be traced, the Sunday Times said.

The Government already has the power to tap phone lines linking computers, but the sheer growth of the Internet means it is impossible to read all the material.

Having the hardwire link would give MI5 the technical capability to read everything.

Home Office sources quoted in the paper said the centre was needed to deal with the growing use of the Internet and mobile phone networks by terrorists and international crime gangs.

The report raised predictable concerns from civil liberties groups.

"With this facility, the Government can track every Web site that a person visits, without a warrant, giving rise to a culture of suspicion by association," said Caspar Bowden, director of the Foundation for Information Policy Research.


-- - (x@xxx.cQm), May 01, 2000


Assigned to an elderly agent who is licensed to kill. Stir but do not shake.

-- Lars (lars@indy.net), May 01, 2000.

I started using DARPANET and then ARPANET in the 1970s. I assumed then that any message sent was public knowledge.

Now I use their successor INTERNET. My assumtion is the same.

I would not send any email that I would embarrassed to see on the frontpage of the Times.

-- (retard@but.happy), May 01, 2000.

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