British gov't reportedly intercepting conversations from Facebook, Twitter, and Google
The British government is reportedly intercepting communications from social networks, emails and text messages even when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing. According to a report from
, British spy agencies have been monitoring the Facebook and Twitter activity of every Internet user in the country. Authorities are also said to be collecting data on people’s
searches and emails.
The British government’s rationale for such a wide-ranging information collection program was detailed in a statement from Charles Farr, the director general of the country’s Office for Security and Counter Terrorism. The organization, along with Liberty, Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union and Bytes for All, obtained the government documents through a lawsuit.
Britain justifies its surveillance program by defining the social network communications of citizens as “external communications” since companies like Facebook and Google are based in the United States. Under the country’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), internal communications can only be obtained with a warrant and only when there is suspicion of wrongdoing. External communications, on the other hand, can be intercepted indiscriminately.
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