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Border Agency could have access to email, internet and text data under new law
11-01-2012, 03:40 PM,
Border Agency could have access to email, internet and text data under new law
Quote:Immigration officials could be able to obtain details of the British public’s internet use, emails and text messages.

Ministers are planning a new law that will require internet firms to store vast amounts of information, a move civil liberties campaigners say amounts to a 'Snooper's Charter'.

Originally the plans only allowed police and security agencies to be given access to the data, which will include every internet click, email and text message.

But yesterday Home Secretary Theresa May said the UK Border Agency, which is responsible for the immigration system, could also be given access.

Such a move would raise concerns because of the immigration system's appalling data security record.

In 2006 it emerged more than 450,000 asylum records had been found dumped in drawers and left in corridors. The backlog was finally cleared only this year.

Nick Pickles, of campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: 'Last month the Public Accounts Committee slammed the agency for the chaos and abuse of its eBorders system, so to be contemplating giving it access to details of who we email and what websites we view beggars belief.

'Given they won't need any external warrant or a judge's approval, the public are right to ask if the Home Office is taking people's privacy seriously.'

The details were revealed as Mrs May gave evidence in Parliament yesterday.

She told a committee of MPs and Peers examining the draft Communications Data Bill: 'There are agencies for whom it is possible to make a case. I would cite the UK Border Agency, and I've mentioned the Financial Services Authority.'

A Home Office spokesman said: 'The ability for law enforcement agencies to obtain communications data – the who, when and where of a communication, not the content – as part of a criminal investigation saves lives, helps catch serious criminals and protects victims.'
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. - Che Guevara

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