Web pioneer Sir Tim Berners-Lee slams Government's monitoring plans
Wednesday 18 April 2012
Controversial government plans to allow intelligence agencies to
monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of every person in
the UK should be scrapped, the inventor of the world wide web has said.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee warned that the "dangerous" new laws would lead to a "destruction of human rights" if they were implemented in their current form.
The new legislation, expected in next month's Queen's Speech, will enable GCHQ to access information "on demand" in "real time" without a warrant.
But the British computer engineer, who advises the Government on how to make public data more accessible, said there has not been enough discussion on how the sensitive data could be safely stored.
In an interview with The Guardian Sir Tim said: "The idea that we should routinely record information about people is obviously very dangerous.
"It means that there will be information around which could be stolen, which can be acquired through corrupt officials or corrupt operators, and (could be) used, for example, to blackmail people in the Government or people in the military.
"We open ourselves out, if we store this information, to it being abused."
The internet pioneer added: "The amount of control you have over somebody if you can monitor internet activity is amazing.
"You get to know every detail, you get to know, in a way, more intimate details about their life than any person that they talk to because often people will confide in the internet as they find their way through medical websites....or as an adolescent finds their way through a website about homosexuality, wondering what they are and whether they should talk to people about it."
The Home Secretary Theresa May defended the proposals after they faced fierce criticism from backbench MPs and civil liberties groups.
She insisted that suspected terrorists, paedophiles and serious criminals would be targeted by intelligence officials rather than ordinary people.
Sir Tim said that if the government pushes ahead with the plans a "very strong independent body" would have to be set up to scrutinise the use of the powers.
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 5 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...