Britain Home Office's plans for a massive spy database breathtaking in its scope is facing serious resistance from within the government, the Times reports. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has led plans for a database that would collect information on every telephone call, e-mail and internet visit made in the U.K, but a “significant body of Home Office officials dealing with serious and organised crime” are lobbying against the plan, according to a memo leaked to the Times. According to the memo, the spy plans are:
"impractical, disproportionate, politically unattractive and possibly unlawful from a human rights perspective."
Earlier this month, the U.S. National Research Council warned that datamining through huge colletions of information is highly unlikely to work. After seven years of U.S. efforts to collect data and search for patterns that will yield up terrorism leads -- while wholly disregarding individuals' privacy rights -- "there is little evidence to confirm the techniques work to actually find terrorists," the New York Times reported. As a result of the rebellion, Smith has had to delay a speech announcing the plans. And police are no fans, either. Jack Wraith, of the data communications group of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said there is an “inherent fear” of the data falling into the wrong hands.
If someone’s got enough personal data on you and they don’t afford it the right protection and that data falls into the wrong hands, then it becomes a threat to you.
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