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If you've been paying attention to tech news lately you can't fail to have been alerted to the controversy surrounding the UK government's latest piece of web-aimed legislation, the Draft Communications Data Bill.
A pet project of tough-as-nails Home Secretary Theresa May, the Bill would require all internet service providers and telecommunications operators to record your communications activities. Everything, bar the content of messages, would have to be stored for 12 months and made available to the police and intelligence services.
Prospect magazine has today published an opinion piece of mine on the issue and in it I explain a little bit about why leaving the content of messages out of collected data doesn't actually make these proposals any more palatable - intimate profiling of individuals would still be possible.
The plans have inflamed the sensibilities of privacy groups and open-web guardians like Jimmy Wales and Sir Tim Berners-Lee. In my piece I point out why the Bill deserves to be publicly debated. And the sooner, the better - lest a government with a shamefully thin knowledge of technology (witness the PM who thought 'LOL' meant 'Lots of Love') be allowed to push through draconian reforms without due scrutiny.
Theresa May has said that people who questioned the Bill in the way I'm encouraging were "conspiracy theorists". My aim is to reveal that rebuke as woefully shallow and direct discussion of this Bill towards a more intelligent and careful consideration of its potential consequences.
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