Poll Finds Most Britons Opposed to Increased Government Snooping

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31st October 2012 16:44 - Central Government


Although the Government is doing its best to make a compelling argument for proposed new Data Communications legislation, a survey has shown that most UK citizens are not in favour of it.

Aimed at making it easier for authorities to spy on electronic communications, if the legislation is passed it will make it mandatory for UK Internet and other service providers to retain records of all customer communications for 12 months so they can be monitored, including emails, web phone calls and social media activity.

A total of 71% of over 1,800 adults polled by YouGov on behalf of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch have said they do not trust that this stored data will be kept secure.

In addition, only 6% of Britons think the Government has made a clear and sound argument for the Draft Data Communications Bill.

Although the Government claims the stringent data monitoring proposals will cost £1.8bn over 10 years from 2012, this figure is seen as an underestimation by experts and those familiar with IT projects in the public sector.

Half of those who took part in the online poll said the roll-out of the new legislation is bad value for money, with only 12% saying it represents good value.

The market research further found that the bill could undermine Internet use, since 41% of the surveyants claimed they would be less likely to use certain websites and online services if the Data Communications Bill is passed.

Nick Pickles, Director of Big Brother Watch, commented: “The public have seen through the scaremongering rhetoric and see the snoopers’ charter for the waste of money that it is… Instead of spending £2bn on another dodgy IT project, the Home Office should be making sure there are enough police officers with the right skills and equipment to investigate online crime.” 

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