The UK public supports Government surveillance

Apple might have an uncompromising stance on privacy, but the general UK public is not so hard on the government. According to a new poll conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Comparitech.com, 60 per cent of the UK population believe the Government should be able to monitor mass communications when it comes to national security.

Breaking the poll down some more, it says that for 49 per cent (out of 1,000 questioned) of people, national security is more important than an individual’s right to privacy. Almost half (47 per cent) already believe the Government intercepts their communications, and 42 per cent wouldn’t care even if they did.

“Given the high profile spat between Apple and the FBI over the data held on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, an individual’s right to privacy has once again been called into question,” said Comparitech.com’s director, Richard Patterson.

“Tensions are high between the tech industry and Government, with many facets to the argument. However, while we wait for the final outcome from the current legal wrangling, for now it appears that public opinion is in favour of the UK Government snooping on its citizens in the interest of national security.”

More than three quarters (77 per cent) believe the UK Government should be allowed to legally intercept any terrorism-related communications, and 65 per cent would agree even when it comes to criminal activity.

Less than half (44 per cent) would allow the Government to spy on people suspected of tax evasion, and 17 per cent would do the same for parents with concerns about a child.

Amar Singh, chair of ISACA UK security advisory group thinks that the results are worrying, particularly when “so many are willing to sacrifice their civil liberties and privacy for claims of protection. Let's not forget that no government has a stellar record in protecting their own information and if technologies are updated to allow "free access" for the government, then criminals will no doubt be able to obtain the same," he continued.