UK to Spend $330M a Year to Track Citizens Online

Dennis Faas's picture

According to reports, Britain will spend 200 million British Pound Sterling per year (equivalent to $330M US Dollars, or $627 per minute), in a massive expansion of its surveillance networks. The new funding is intended to give officials access to details of every Internet click -- on top of the email and telephone records that are already available -- made by every British citizen.

LibDem Home Affairs spokesman Chris Huhne, who describes the amount of money being spent on the increasing surveillance state as 'eye-watering,' claims the increase in money spent on tapping phones and emails is baffling, since Britain is one of the few countries that does not allow intercepted evidence in court. (Source:

One Request Every Minute

According to the UK's Daily Mail newspaper, one request to spy on phone records and email accounts of its citizens is made every minute. Every day, 1,381 snooping missions are carried out by police, town halls and other government entities. An average of 11 million British Pound Sterling ($18M US) a year is paid to phone companies and Internet service providers for keeping and providing private information about their customers. (Source:

A series of parliamentary answers has revealed the cost of the new system. Part of the increase is to cover the costs of storing mountains of information about every customer for a minimum of 12 months and to set up a new system that is capable of handling that information.

653 Entities Detailed in Database

According to reports, the content of calls and emails will not be kept. Information about who they were from or to, when they took place and where they were sent from will be kept so police and other public authorities -- a total of 653 different entities -- can access data as necessitated by their investigations. Parliament will introduce new rules for accessing Internet records before the end of the year.

The government originally wanted to keep the information in a massive government-run database but decided not to, due to privacy concerns.

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