Emergency phone and Internet monitoring laws will be in place next week in the United Kingdom to collect users’ records for calls, texts and website visits.
According to The Telegraph, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the laws were paramount to defending national security against the terrorist threat from Iraq and Syria.
“It is the first duty of government to protect our national security and to act quickly when that security is compromised,” Cameron said.
The laws were passed in response to a European Court of Justice ruling, which took away regulations that allowed communication companies to keep data records for police use for a year.
Some people worried the legislation would invade people’s privacy, but Cameron insisted it was not done for government’s benefit.
“I want to be very clear that we are not introducing new powers or capabilities—that is not for this Parliament. This is about restoring two vital measures ensuring that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies maintain the right tools to keep us all safe.”
BBC reported on how the emergency legislation would work. It would outline legal obligation of communication companies that provide phone and Internet connections in the UK to retain communications data on their customers. The government said it would collect data-like logs of when calls were made, numbers that were dialed and other information that might be useful in investigations. Parliament made it clear that no actual phone call content would be monitored, unless a person is targeted for additional monitoring.
David Cameron announcing the emergency monitoring laws: