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Internet privacy concerns high on both sides of the Atlantic

November 7, 2008 by  

Privacy concerns arise in both the U.S. and UKThe issue of privacy is currently being debated in both the U.S. and the UK, among governments and technology companies alike.

In Britain, privacy advocates are wary of plans by the government to monitor all email, phone and Internet traffic in the country with "black box" style technology.

British Information Commissioner Richard Thomas was quoted in the UK newspaper The Independent as saying the proposed Communications Data Bill went a "step too far" and was "awful." Still, British security agencies hope to use the information to fight terrorism and other significant crimes.

The Independent notes that the proposal has created "a huge public outcry," with plans for a formal consultation of the UK public on the matter in 2009.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic this week, a coalition including and unveiled a proposal called the Global Network Initiative to try to protect consumer privacy on the web. This plan would require various commitments from participating companies, such as providing greater transparency to users, challenging human rights violations, and advocating laws that respect privacy and the freedom of expression.

"Through this initiative, we take a crucial first step in advancing free expression and privacy, at a time when government interference with these basic human rights is on the rise," said Human Rights First President Mike Posner.

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  • http://none srinivas rao

    I am tempted to respond regarding Internet Security. This may be viewed as interesting info. as it concerns.
    To my knowledge, there are several upcomming companies who out smarted veterns in designing security software. One such group is international and operates globally and their software I am using and this site and computer stores 13,300 individual’s highly
    sensitive information and they are all from over the globe. I never had a problem or complaint. The software writes aligorhythms by itself when ones installed, it is based on the behavior of the virus, spyware or anyother form of malware which is unique and offer
    protection 24hrs,round the year. I remember the company name is PC tools and they let me download it for free and they had written for businesses and it costs nominal money.

  • Atomboy

    The problem is that this is legislation which springs from the American Patriot Acts, which themselves were a result of the 9/11 attack and, in consequence, nobody is allowed to question the righteousness of this attack on the internet and civil liberties, for fear of being branded a terrorist.

    In Britain, New Labour has added to and extended – or “goldplated” – the European version of this pernicious, vicious legislation which will be used to savage free speech.

    However, it will be expanded across Europe because no government is comfortable with the liberties which the internet brings to ordinary people and they will not be content until it has been hobbled and gagged.

    Once truly repressive regimes see what can be done unopposed to repress the voice of the people in ostensibly free and democratic countries, the floodgates of tyrannous legislation will open as banana republics compete to show how much they can censor the internet.

    Of course, the systems which this legislation will require will no more hold the data which the government has stolen from us than a net will hold water.

    The massive silo which is supposed to hold all our email, text, voice and internet traffic will leak data like a monsoon. It will be stolen by criminals; blackmailed and bribed out of petty officials and simply squirt from the system unattended, like a hose left to water the garden willy-nilly. The rest will be corrupted, misinterpreted, misplaced, miskeyed, mishandled and mistaken, until it becomes useless gibberish.

    In the end, we will be at risk from anyone and everyone: the criminals, terrorists, paedophiles, stalkers, crazies and the simply plain and nosy blabbermouths of petty officialdom.

    In the process, though, we will have lost our free speech and civil liberties, as we are already losing our ability to stand up and be counted and fight the overweening state.

    Play your part in keeping the state barbarians from smashing our civilisation.

    Fight on the side of right in the coming internet wars.

    • Deborah

      The link is broken.

  • Bob Livingston

    PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) is the only software I have experience with and I think their product is about as good as is out there for individuals.  If any readers have other recommendations they have experience with, please share.  –Bob

  • http://N/A Fred Brooks

    ECHELON: And that’s the old one. Laws do not matter. I don’t know how it works now, but a couple of decades ago it was illegal for the government to monitor civilian communications. So, they didn’t. Australia and Britain did. And we monitored theirs. We gave them the intercepts that we got of them and they gave us the intercepts they got of us. Canada, Britain, Australia, and the U.S. all agreed to eavesdrop on each other and share the info. Technically, the NSA wasn’t intercepting our traffic. Technically, there was no law broken. The Congress knew about it. Then it was ECHELON. Since then we’ve gone digital and the govt. got newer, bigger, faster computers. They just couldn’t use the info in court because then the public would be up in arms!! So, noew they are trying to do it in the open.
    What matters? The letter of the law or the spirit of the law??

  • Deborah

    Violations of our Bill of Rights have been praised and embraced by our liberal media. Our Constitution has been disregarded and the Federal government of the United states has been compromised.
    Our Supreme Court has ruled against this interference, yet, Congress gave in to this, passing illegal UNCONSTITUTIONAL laws, that ideas the notion that they can take anything they want from us.
    We now find ourselves with a new “shadow” government that calls us Liars and Terrorists. Radical in both nature and in thought, they feel they can skirt every one of our established and revered Civil Rights, Bill of Rights, States Rights and Constitutional Rights, Supreme Court and, now, Congress.
    This is an illegal government.
    Even the name Obama gives us reasons for great concern. His POTUS has not been proven. We, as citizens, must prove we are citizens for the most trivial of jobs in the US. Yet, we have a president that appears to be fighting that same law that governs the horse manure shoveling cowboy to doctors and (supposedly) lawyers.
    A Army Lt. Col. Doctor has refused to follow Obama’s orders until he proves POTUS. As reported, he is not allowed to call the witnesses he requires to prove his innocence.
    The military lives by certain codes, the Constitution is their BIBLE!
    They’ve died for it, left family and friends for years for it and sacrificed their best interests for it.
    Who should we stand with? Americans, established red-blooded, would die for their country Americans.
    This Lt. Col deserves our respect. Our support!
    Stand with America and Americans.


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