The media has been awash with claims that the Coalition Government is intending to increase the surveillance powers of GCHQ – giving it the ability to monitor e-mails; telephone calls; text messages; internet usage; and even social network updates in real-time. It’s fully expected that the introduction of these extended powers will be included within the upcoming Queen’s Speech due in May.
The Home Office have repeatedly claimed that such moves are essential if the UK wishes to continue tackling crime and terrorism; even though in 2006 the then Labour administration proposed and eventually failed to introduce similar powers. Labour’s plans faced substantial opposition not only from the public and civil liberty groups but also the two political parties who currently make up the Coalition Government. Continue reading