Projects to “master the internet” in full swing on both sides of the pond

UK To Follow US Lead On Cybersecurity Control Framework 010609cyberSteve Watson
Monday, June 1, 2009

British intelligence agencies are working on their own version of the Obama administration’s Cybersecurity Act of 2009, a control framework that will facilitate a great increase in and coordination of government surveillance.

Sources close to those involved with the move have told UK based sci-tech website The Register that the plans will be published before the summer Parliamentary recess in late July.

“It’s understood that UK officials are now keen not to be seen to be lagging behind their counterparts in Washington,” writes Chris Williams. “The UK cybersecurity review is being led by the Cabinet Office, with cooperation from the Home Office, the intelligence services and the Ministry of Defence.”

Though the UK Cabinet Office has refused to reveal any details of its cybersecurity plans, they are likely to mirror those of the Obama administration.

As we detailed in our featured report earlier today, the US cybersecurity system will only make the internet more vulnerable to attack, while creating the framework for a more intensive surveillance grid that will control and regulate every aspect of Americans’ daily lives through the implementation of “smart” technology.

The legislation would allow the federal government to tap into any digital aspect of every citizen’s information without a warrant. Banking, business and medical records would be wide open to inspection, as well as personal instant message and e mail communications.

Although the British government recently announced a “climb down” over plans for a huge central database of electronic communications, MPs are still due to consider an extension to the powers of RIPA (the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) which currently allows hundreds of government agencies access to communications data.

Human rights watchdog Privacy International has argued that such an act would be a dangerous first step towards a “Big Brother” society.

Gus Hosein, a senior fellow at Privacy International, recently told the BBC that the latest proposals infringed basic human rights.

“The idea that ISPs need to collect data and send it en masse to central government is, without doubt, illegal,” he said.

Furthermore, secret plans were recently uncovered and detailed in the London Times, revealing how hundreds of millions in public funds have been spent on the development of a mass internet surveillance system.

The system is being implemented by GCHQ, the official site of the UK Government Communications Headquarters which is the centre for Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) activities.
The project is known as “Mastering the Internet” (MTI).

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