British government outed in plan to spy on citizens

With great hoopla British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the government would be scrapping its massive ‘big brother’ database meant to be used to monitor the country’s citizens.

“The government recognised the privacy implications of the move [and] therefore does not propose to pursue this move,” she said.

Grabbing favourable headlines, Smith announced that up to £2 billion of public money would instead be spent helping private internet and telephone companies to retain information for up to 12 months in separate databases.

Source: Times Online

There’s only one problem with her promise – it’s a load of crap. In fact the British government besides handing money over to the ISPs has allocated and additional £1 billion for the new program called “Mastering the Internet” (MTI). This program will rely on thousands of ‘black box’ probes covertly inserted across the online infrastructure.

Part of all this is the building of a massive new complex for GCHQ, the agency responsible for the implementation of MTI, and will contain a huge room of super-computers that will help them monitor and record all the data passing through those black boxes.

The new GCHQ internet-monitoring network will shift the focus of the surveillance state away from a few hundred targeted people to everyone in the UK.

“Although the paper [work] does not say it, its clear implication is that those kinds of probes should be extended to cover the entire population for the purposes of monitoring communications data,” said the industry source.

Source: Times Online

So one hand you have a government official grabbing good press by saying they are stopping their surveillance program. Then on the flip side you have that same government spending money on an even more subversive monitoring system to watch what all their citizens are doing online.

Sounds about right.

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