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Communications Government Privacy United Kingdom Your Rights Online

Proposed UK Communications Law Could Be Used To Spy On Physical Mail 125

An anonymous reader writes "The BBC reports that the UK's Draft Communications Bill includes a provision which could be used to force the Royal Mail and other mail carriers to retain data on all physical mail passing through their networks. The law could be used to force carriers to maintain a database of any data written on the outside of an envelope or package which could be accessed by government bodies at will. Such data could include sender, recipient and type of mail (and, consequentially, the entire contents of a postcard). It would provide a physical analog of the recently proposed internet surveillance laws. The Home Office claims that it has no current plans to enforce the law."
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Proposed UK Communications Law Could Be Used To Spy On Physical Mail

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  • Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Sunday June 17, 2012 @03:47PM (#40353589)

    Potential Terrorist 391,496, mail log:
    Received junk mail from Direct Marketing Alliance.
    Received junk mail from Insurance company
    Received junk mail from Direct Marketing Alliance.
    Received junk mail from "V14GR4 4 U"
    Received junk mail from Derp's Amazing Electronics.
    Received copy of Harry Potter 4 via Netflix.
    ...

    Well, on one hand, a warrant should be needed for any kind of surveillance. Monitoring activity pre-warrant shouldn't be legal. That said... snail mail is dying. It's mostly just junk mail, bills, and packages ordered online. I can't see how this would have much intelligence value.... Especially since, at least in the US, if you simply reverse the sender and receiver and leave off the stamp, it'll happily go to its destination as long as it's in the same geographic area. Oh wait... was that helping the terrorists? My bad.

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