Friday, August 06, 2010

Emails and phones snooped on by authorities every minute

Yet more proof of our UK surveillance we see that political and corporate bodies are racing after our private information:

Councils, police and other public bodies are demanding access to people's private telephone and email records at a rate of once a minute after a rise in snooping applications.

Public authorities asked for confidential communications data on more than 525,000 occasions last year including a 13 per cent increase in requests by town halls.There were also errors in hundreds of applications leading to wrong phone numbers, emails or innocent people being monitored, according to the surveillance watchdog. 

Sir Paul Kennedy, the interception of communications commissioner, also warned children and other members of the public could be at risk because of "very serious weaknesses and failing" in the way communications in prisons are monitored.He said flaws or attempts to monitor too much could place the public, as well as other prisoners and staff, in harm's way. 

The figures will fuel concerns over the use of interception powers by some public bodies under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which are mainly aimed at tackling terrorism and serious crime.The Act gives authorities – including councils, the police and intelligence agencies – the power to request access to confidential communications data, including lists of telephone numbers dialled and email addresses to which messages have been sent but not their content.

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