2 Apr 2012

Internet and phone use in Britain could be monitored

10:38 am on 2 April 2012

The British government is drawing up controversial plans to monitor the emails, phone calls, text messages and internet searches of everyone in the country.

It says such powers are vital to investigate serious crimes, and terrorism.

Internet firms will be required to give Britain's intelligence agency access to communications on demand, in real time, the BBC reports.

Civil liberties groups and some members of parliament have voiced strong opposition to the plan.

An MP for the governing Conservative Party David Davis says the proposal is a major intrusion on people's privacy, with no need for a magistrate or judge to approve access to the communications.

"They can do everything necessary to catch terrorists and to catch criminals if they use the law. They don't need to be able to intrude on your and my privacy to do so," he says.

Mr Davis says a similar plan by Germany a few years ago was struck down by the Supreme Court.