Government plans to monitor web use header image

The government plans to increase the level of internet surveillance in the UK.

A new Communications Bill has been drafted by the Intelligence and Security Committee, which will make it easier to monitor what people do online.

This would use 'deep packet inspection' technology that logs data concerning citizens' internet use.

The committee claims that such measures are vital in the fight against terrorism, cyber attacks and other security threats.

It stated that existing laws do not cover emerging technologies and believes a "new approach" is needed.

Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, said: "Access to communications data of one sort or another is very important indeed. It’s part of the backbone of the way in which we would approach investigations."

The bill seeks access to 'communications data' rather than 'communications content', meaning the police will be able to track when and where an email is sent, but would still need a warrant to access its contents.

However, the news has provoked a negative response from civil liberties and privacy campaigners.

Posted by Mark Wynn