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British Authorities Unveil Plan For Mass Electronic Surveillance

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Theresa May

U.K. Home Office secretary Theresa May

Credit: Associated Press

British authorities have unveiled a plan to compile details about every email, phone call, and text message in the United Kingdom.

The surveillance effort proposed in the bill would provide the British government with an unprecedented amount of information on citizens' daily lives. The proposal "will give the police and some other agencies access to data about online communications to tackle crime, exactly as they do now with mobile phone calls and texts, [and] unless you are a criminal, you have nothing to worry about from this new law," says Home Office secretary Theresa May.

However, others say the proposal provides the government with access to too much personal data. The bill would force communications providers to gather vast amounts of information on their customers. Providers would be required to monitor where online communications were sent from, who they were sent to, and how large they were. The bill also calls for providers to collect Internet Protocol addresses, details of customers' electronic hardware, and subscriber information such as names, addresses, and payment information.

The measure is currently in draft form, which means it is subject to change before it is presented to the Parliament.

From Associated Press 
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