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(Fwd) FC: U.K police demand new ways to snoop online

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Mon, 7 Sep 1998 14:46:31 -0700 (PDT)
From:          Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
To:            politech@vorlon.mit.edu
Subject:       FC: U.K police demand new ways to snoop online
Reply-to:      declan@well.com

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 21:59:51 +0100
From: Alan Donnelly <freenet@globalnet.co.uk>
To: declan@well.com


I dont know the procedure for sending you interesting articles, I hope
this is okay.

The PC in your mailbox

The police may soon be allowed to read your email and check your
Internet use at will. By Paul Lavin

When you drop an envelope in a red pillar-box, you walk away confident
that your mail will not be read by anyone except the addressee.
However, when you send an email, it might be wise to reflect on the

According to the organisation Internet Freedom, an agreement being
negotiated between the UK's internet service providers (ISPs) and the
police will open the email of the UK's eight million Internet users to
scrutiny without debate in Parliament or oversight by the courts or
the Home Secretary.

British police are said to be close to reaching an agreement with ISPs
that will enable them to monitor customers' emails and web usage logs.
Chris Ellison of Internet Freedom, says: "Following a series of
meetings between the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and
Internet industry representatives, we understand that both groups have
stated a willingness to reach a 'memorandum of understanding' about
implementing police access to private data held by ISPs."


While the Act has aspects that protect the quality and use of
information held in computer systems, disclosure can be afforded by a
compliant ISP by simply including appropriate language in the small
print of their terms and conditions. Data may be revealed to law
enforcement officials as long as the subscriber is notified.


Email is not like a letter in an envelope; it is more like a postcard.
Just as you would not put some messages on a postcard, you should
think before you use email for your most private communications. While
the legality and desirability of the any agreement between ACPO and
the ISPs is highly debatable, anyone interested in maintaining their
privacy on the Internet must take responsibility for their own

The agreement between ACPO and ISPs will be the subject of three
seminars: 22 September in Edinburgh, 8 October in London and 27
October in Manchester. Additional details can be found at
http://www.linx.net/ misc/acposeminar.html.


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