Government to allow real-time internet spying

PRIVACY campaigners yesterday reacted angrily to government plans to allow security services to monitor email exchanges and website visits in the UK.

Legislation expected in next month’s Queen’s Speech is set to allow GCHQ to examine “on demand” any phone call made, text message and email sent and website accessed.

Nick Pickles, director of the Big Brother Watch campaign group, said: “This is an unprecedented step that will see Britain adopt the same kind of surveillance seen in China and Iran.”

The Home Office said the rules would apply to the “time, duration and dialling numbers of a phone call, or an email address. It does not include the content of any phone call or email.” It said it had no plans to change rules about intercepting communications.