There were outcries when the British government first proposed a giant database covering all phone calls, e-mails and Internet use in the country. But according to an article in the Guardian, a upcoming white paper on the database is including the option to send the databse out for tender to be run by private companies.
The database, whose costs could reach £12 billion, wouldn’t record content, but would have details of sites visited, along with senders, times and recipients of e-mails and calls. According to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, such a database is vital in fighting terrorism. Assurances have been given that the database would be secure and the information not misused.
However, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, is adamantly against the move. He told the newspaper:
"All history tells us that reassurances like these are worthless in the long run. In the first security crisis the locks would loosen."
The government says no decisions about the database have yet been made.
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