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Passion Islam I November 2008 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 9
Britain plans to use internet
‘black boxes’ to monitor emails
Internet ‘black boxes’ will service providers (ISPs) in saying it was clarified that
be used to collect every London this week, when the government will hold all
email and web visit in the a presentation was made the data, but “what isn’t clear
UK under controversial of what was called the is what the Home Secretary,
government’s plans to set government’s Interception GCHQ (monitoring centre)
up a giant ‘big brother’ Modernisation Programme and the security services
database, it was reported (IMP). intend to do with all this
(See Passion Islam June Plans to create information.” Experts told
2008 issue) a database holding the meeting the security
Home Office officials information about every and intelligence agencies
have told senior figures phone call, email and wanted to use the stored
from the internet and internet visit made in the UK data to help fight serious
telecommunications have already provoked a crime and terrorism.
industries that black huge public outcry. The controversial plans
box technology could Richard Thomas, the are expected to be included
automatically store raw data Information Commissioner, in the government’s
before transferring it to a described it as “step too far” Communications Data Bill
giant government-controlled and the government’s own early in the new year, with
database, according to the terrorism watchdog said ministers said to be insisting
Independent. that as a “raw idea” it was that they only want to return
Details of the database “awful.” to a position of monitoring
were said to have emerged The Independent quoted a mail before the emergence
at a meeting with internet source close to the meeting of the internet.
Record number of D-notice
bans issued against UK press
There has been a huge increase in the “prevent inadvertent public disclosure
number of D-notices issued against of information that would compromise
Can Britain equal
the British press and broadcasters UK military and intelligence operations
in the last two years to prevent the and methods, or put at risk the safety
the American
reporting of sensitive information, of those involved in such operations,
according to the latest official figures. or lead to attacks that would damage
Continued from
front page
Seven D-notice letters of advice the critical national infrastructure and/
surprised if even some body as brilliant
were sent to all editors by the or endanger lives.”
as him would have been able to break
Defence Press and Broadcasting No details are given of the latest
through the institutional stranglehold that
there is on power within the Labour Party,”
Advisory Committee (DPBAC) in bans but according to the DPBAC
he said.
2007 and a further five so far this website, five standing D-notices in April
Another Labour MP who did not wish
year, Defence Minister Kevan Jones 2004 covered such areas as military
to be named said “It’s quite right that just
revealed in a written parliamentary operations, nuclear and non-nuclear as we are feeling all cosy about Obama
reply published. weapons, sensitive installations and
he gives the system a good kicking. It
This compares with just two being intelligence and security services.
needs it.”
issued in each of the previous three Some journalists have argued that
Sadiq Khan, the Labour MP for Tooting
years from 2003, one in 2002, three the bans often include subjects that
however said “I fundamentally disagree
with Trevor regarding his comments on
in 2001, two in 2000, three in 1999 are merely unflattering to government,
institutional racism, but he is right to say
and none in either 1998 or 1997. rather than a matter of national
that the British electorate is a lot fairer and
The D-Notice system, which is defense and thus are a form of soft tolerant. I predict there will be a black or
a virtual blanket publication ban, is censorship.
Asian prime minister in my lifetime and all
a voluntary code that began back Although media companies and
the evidence suggests it will be a Labour
in 1912 to provide guidance to the individual journalists can opt out of
prime minister. I see no reason why that
British media on the publication or cooperating with D-Notices advisories,
can’t happen .”
Research by the Fabian Society
broadcasting of national security there is always the possibility of
published recently suggests that Britain
information. professional disciplinary action, or
could see the number of black and Asian
The committee, a joint government- legal punishment, such as fines or the
MPs increase from 15 to about 25 at the
media body, says the objective is to suspension of privileges. next election.
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