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Iran Press TV

Britons' phone calls spied on routinely by UK police: Report

Iran Press TV

Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:21PM GMT

British police forces are making as many as 250,000 requests to snoop on people's email and phone call details every year, a new report reveals.

According to a survey, which was carried out by civil liberties and privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, 25 police forces across Britain made 506,720 requests for people's "communications data" over the past three years, The Telegraph reported.

The survey released under the freedom of information laws found that the number of requests for Britons' phone or email records has risen from 158,677 in 2009-10 to 178,985 in 2011-12. However, the figure could be increased to up to 250,000 including estimates for the forces that failed to reply to the research.

This comes as the UK government is seeking more snooping powers through the controversial Communications Data Bill, which is due to be published in the summer.

The draft bill is dubbed as the Snooper's Charter, because it is considered as a significant threat to British citizens' privacy.

The measures mark a serious increase in the powers the British government has to order any communications provider to collect, store and provide access to information about emails, online conversations and texts.

Former British shadow home secretary David Davis said, "It is frankly not good enough that the government is considering introducing a snoopers' charter without even being able to tell us what they have used communications data for in the past."


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