Posted by Ian at 7 52 PM on Saturday, March 28
B CAREFUL wot u post on Facebook—coz MI5 is spying on U!
And EVERY page on social networking websites will now be saved in their files as spooks comb the web for terror plots.
Counter-terrorism minister Vernon Coaker revealed MI5 was already monitoring sites like Facebook, MySpace and bebo but claimed the spies now needed to access ALL their pages to evaluate and store the data.
He told a Commons select committee the aim was to spot terrorists using the sites to organise attacks as well as tracking criminals, like paedophiles looking for online victims. But the move has caused anger among campaigners against invasion of privacy.
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Tom Brake said: “This is yet more evidence of this Government’s obsession with hoarding vast amounts of people’s personal data.”
Intelligence sources have told the News of the World the websites will be accessed by GCHQ using special search engines, tracking programmes and key words. Details about when emails are sent and internet visits made by anyone in the UK will soon be compiled on a central GCHQ database.
Mr Coaker said: “I accept that this is an extremely difficult area. The interface between retaining data, private
security and all such issues of privacy is extremely important.”
The proposals are contained in the Intercept Modernisation Programme, which was introduced last year to use the monitoring of internet traffic data as an anti-terrorism tool. Several home-grown terror plots hatched by
Islamic extremists in the last three years have been foiled after MI5 and GCHQ intercepted internet messages.
They are far harder to track than mobile calls and texts, but can provide far more information.
A Home Office spokeswoman insisted they had no plans to use the powers to monitor innocent people—or teenagers who use the sites to boast about smoking a joint with friends.
She added: “We have been clear the communications revolution has been rapid in this country and the way in which we collect communications data needs to change.”