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LSE Launches Scathing Attack On Government Web Surveillance Plans

The UK government's ambitious plans to intercept emails, text messages, and internet browsing sessions in the UK won't work and exert an unjust onus on ISPs, claimed a study by the London School of Economics (LSE).

The government backed the proposals by claiming that the move would help security services equip better to investigate into crimes in a rapidly-changing digital environment.

Tagging the plan as “overly intrusive and unrealistic”, the LSE Policy Engagement Network asserts that the plan won't be useful unless legislation put in place to support the technology. It further suggests that the public will also need to be persuaded about the significance of such a monitoring system if they are to compromise their privacy.

“With internet technology you have to collect everything then throw away what the law does not allow you to have. We think … that distinction will be impossible to interpret”, said Peter Sommer, a professor in LSE.

However, LSE's report prompted MPs and Lords to launch a probe into the Home Office's £2 billion proposal to gather details of various forms of online communication as well as text messages.

Representatives from both the Houses will reportedly use LSE's study as the basis of an investigation into the contentious Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) in July.

Our Comments

A change of government could have a massive impact on these grand projects. The conservatives have also said that they would can the controversial national ID Card project in a bid to cut billions in capital expenditures. The net snooping project and the mother of all databases announced in March this year could well be next on the list.

Related Links

MPs launch probe of massive net snooping project

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Costly Big Brother plan won't work, warns LSE

(Computer Weekly)

Home Office internet surveillance proposals won't work says LSE study


Plan to monitor emails will not work, says LSE


LSE attacks Government's snooping plans

(PC Pro)

Internet snooping laws are "overly intrusive"


Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.