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Ministers are preparing a major expansion of the Government's powers to monitor the email exchanges and website visits of every person in the UK, it was reported today.
Under legislation expected in next month's Queen's Speech, internet companies will be instructed to install hardware enabling GCHQ – the Government's electronic "listening" agency – to examine "on demand" any phone call made, text message and email sent, and website accessed in "real time", The Sunday Times reported.
Nick Pickles, director of the Big Brother Watch campaign group, said: "This is an unprecedented step that will see Britain adopt the same kind of surveillance seen in China and Iran.