Queen Confirms UK Surveillance Plans

The Queen has confirmed UK governmental plans to increase the surveillance of its citizens in her speech to Parliament this morning, headlining it instead as something that will "maintain the ability of the law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access vital communications data."

The plan she is referring to is the Communications Capabilities Development Programme (CCDP), which allows the government to force ISPs to store customer data relating to who they communicated with and what information they've been accessing, allowing authorities to view this in real time. The only caveat is that to be monitored you need to be suspected of the criminal activity of terrorism - two activities that cover a massive number of situations.

The Queen did however say as part of the speech that the measures would only be brought forward under "strict safeguards to protect the public." This will be a mild relief to privacy advocates, many who oppose the CCDP.

Her Majesty also said that increased scrutiny of intelligence agencies was important. "My government will introduce legislation to strengthen oversight of the security and intelligence agencies. This will allow courts, through the limited use of closed proceedings, to hear a greater range of evidence in national security cases."

While the Queen has little active power in government, hopefully this speech will at least allow some minor modifications of the CCDP, as its inception in its current form, could bring about real infringements of the privacy of individuals.

Source: Wired