Friday, July 11, 2014

UK rushes law to retain telephone and Internet records

Source: AL Jazeera

Cameron said that without the emergency law, it would be harder to defend against pedophiles, gangsters and terrorists.
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The European Court of Justice ruled in April that a European Union directive requiring companies to store communications data for up to two years was too broad and a threat to privacy rights.
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Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday that without the emergency law governments would be less able to protect the country from pedophiles, gangsters and terrorists.
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"Sometimes, in the dangerous world in which we live, we need our security services to listen to someone's phone and read their emails to identify and disrupt a terrorist plot," Cameron told reporters. "As prime minister, I know of examples where doing this has stopped a terrorist attack."
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The European court was concerned about the lack of restrictions on how, why and when the metadata could be used. It asked for a directive with more specificity on what type of crimes could be covered and how long the material would be retained.
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Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights organization Liberty, expressed doubt that there was really critical need for Cameron's measures now.

"We are told this is a pedophile and jihadi 'emergency', but the court judgment they seek to ignore was handed down over three months ago and this isn't snooping on suspects but on everyone," she said. "We are promised greater scrutiny and debate but not until 2016, as it seems that all three party leaders have done a deal in private. No privacy for us and no scrutiny for them."
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