Manchester NO2ID has condemned the announcement of extensions to Internet snooping powers in the Queen's Speech.
Although the Queen’s Speech gave few details, the Home Office has previously outlined plans to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to gather extensive details of everyone's web browsing, email, gaming and chat sessions. Existing legislation already forces ISPs to hand over any information they hold to several hundred public bodies with little oversight.
The Home Office has not denied reports that it also wants "black boxes" installed across the Internet, giving it real-time access to anyone's Internet use.
A similar scheme (The Intercept Modernisation Programme) was shelved by the Labour Government in 2009 following a fierce backlash, including criticism from many Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs. Its inclusion in the Queen's Speech marks a decisive U-turn from the Coalition's May 2010 commitment to "end the storage of internet and e-mail records without good reason".
Snooping on citizen’s internet activities without a court order is not 'preserving powers', it's a dramatic extension of the ability of hundreds of minor bureaucrats to spy on anyone, without any proper judicial oversight. Manchester NO2ID believes that the Coalition should be honouring its promise to roll back the Database State and not promoting it by spying on the daily lives of the UK population.