We have reported more than once this week on the UK Governments plans to limit our Internet freedom. Whilst some have said the plans are nothing to raise concerns civil liberties groups have not agreed.
The subject has caused some divisions to say the least. There are those who claim that they thought UK powers that be would already have such access. Of course the police do but only after requesting a warrant. The proposed changes are similar to those in Canada and the US that have been incensing citizens across the pond.
At least one UK Conservative MP has opposed the plans but today Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has weighed into the debate. He has been at pains to say that the changes are far from agreed and will not be as invasive as reported. He maintains there will be ample time for debate of this issue and that some people have simply been scaremongering..
It was revealed last weekend that the proposals were to be laid out in the forthcoming Queen's Speech. The BBC has reported today, " There has been "a lot of scaremongering" about plans for new email and web monitoring laws, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said. He said they were "not the draconian proposals they have been portrayed as", and safeguards for privacy and civil liberties were "absolutely guaranteed".
Home Secretary Theresa May has said the move will help bring "criminals, paedophiles and terrorists" to justice.
But MPs and civil liberties campaigners have warned against the plan. Internet service providers are obliged to keep details of users' web access, email and internet phone calls for 12 months, under an EU directive from 2009. Although the content of the calls is not kept, the sender, recipient, time of communication and geographical location does have to be recorded.
The proposed new law - which the Home Office says will be brought in "as soon as parliamentary time allows" - would extend those requirements to social networking sites and internet phone services such as Skype."
Opinion: Once again the UK minority government is looking at making sweeping changes. It is declaring intent not laid out in either the Lib Dems nor Tory manifestos. It is laughable when you consider the UK government's involvement and cheer leading to rebels in countries such as Libya, Syria and the Middle East. Then our politicians were happy for the force of twitter and Facebook to be used.
Claiming that the planned changes will "help bring "criminals, paedophiles and terrorists" to justice", is farcical. All the new legislation will do is hit ordinary citizens. Those with the will to do wrong will find another way. The "snooping" will be open to abuse and, as we have seen with the Leveson inquiry, the UK police force is far from corruption free.
David Cameron will not even spill the beans on who he has wined and dined for cash yet UK citizens are expected to accept authorities spying on their every move online. A joke, just like the current UK government.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog