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Jacqui Smith's secret plan to carry on snooping: The home secretary has vowed to scrap a 'big brother' database, but a bid to spy on us all continues SPY chiefs are pressing ahead with secret plans to monitor all internet use and telephone calls in Britain despite an announcement by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, of a ministerial climbdown over public surveillance.
GCHQ, the government’s eavesdropping centre, is developing classified technology to intercept and monitor all e-mails, website visits and social networking sessions in Britain. The agency will also be able to track telephone calls made over the internet, as well as all phone calls to land lines and mobiles.
The £1 billion snooping project — called Mastering the Internet (MTI) — will rely on thousands of “black box” probes being covertly inserted across online infrastructure. (London Times)
UK chases Obama on cybersecurity: Officials aim to release strategy this summer Security and intelligence officials plan to publish a UK version of Barack Obama's cybersecurity and defence review before the summer Parliamentary recess, according to sources close to the work.
The US announced its new strategy on Friday following an intensive 60-day investigation of vulnerabilities in government and the private sector.
Obama said computer networks would now be treated as a "strategic national asset" and announced a new senior post in his administration to oversee their defence. It was also reported - but not detailed in the published strategy - that a new arm within the Pentagon will conduct both offensive and defensive network warfare. (The Register)
And now for a world government "I have never believed that there is a secret United Nations plot to take over the US. I have never seen black helicopters hovering in the sky above Montana. But, for the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible." (Financial Times)
Millions of families face compulsory water meters Water companies are to be given new powers to force meters on millions of families amid claims it is necessary to cope with future droughts.
The controversial plan, which will add more than £1 billion to water bills over the next decade, was given the green light by the government on Thursday.
Ministers claim that despite the floods of this summer, the country is likely to see more droughts in future years, which will create a need to conserve water.
They argue that imposing meters generally leads to a reduction in household use of some 10 per cent.
New powers to adopt compulsory water metering are to be given to those companies who can show they are in so-called "water stress" areas.
However, the government plans to direct every water company in the country to consider imposing meters on customers to solve water shortage problems. (UK Daily Mail)
keywords: Climate Change, Consumer Council For Water, Essex & Suffolk, Folkestone & Dover, Mid Kent Water, Phil Woolas, South East Water, Southern Water, Sutton & East Surrey, Thames Water, UK National Consumer Council, United Kingdom, Water
Coming soon: the fridge that power chiefs can switch off to save energy A domestic refrigerator that can be turned on and off by the electricity supplier without the homeowner being aware is to go on trial.
Npower will distribute 300 ‘smart fridges’ free to homeowners throughout Britain within the next five weeks as part of the energy companies’ efforts to tackle climate change.
At times of high demand, the National Grid will activate the switches in the fridges to achieve a balance in the power supply.
The development means that, for the first time, consumers will lose control over the use of electricity in their own homes.
Electricity companies have regularly raised the reliability of their supply as justification for their high prices. (UK Daily Mail)
Lawmakers Praise Obama’s Moves to Beef Up Cybersecurity Calling the vulnerability of U.S. computer infrastructure “one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation,” President Obama announced plans Friday to expand the White House’s role in cybersecurity, saying that a cyber czar will lead the way.
“Because of the critical importance of this work, I will personally select this official,” Obama said. “I’ll depend on this official in all matters relating to cybersecurity, and this official will have my full support and regular access to me as we confront these challenges.” (CQ Politics)
Cybersecurity Chief Resigns The government's coordinator for cybersecurity programs has quit, criticizing what he described as the National Security Agency's grip on cybersecurity.
Rod Beckstrom, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur, said in his resignation letter that the NSA's central role in cybersecurity is "a bad strategy" because it is important to have a civilian agency taking a key role in the issue. The NSA is part of the Department of Defense. (Wall Street Journal)
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