U.K. spy agencies plan to install Web snooping 'black boxes'


The U.K.'s intelligence agencies are planning to install 'black box'-style surveillance devices in the country's telecommunications infrastructure to monitor the U.K.'s online activity.

According to lawmakers in the country's capital [PDF], these devices will rely on deep packet inspection—a technique that has been criticized repeatedly by online activists and citizens alike—as part of the government's efforts to increasingly monitor British Web.

Such techniques will allow U.K. law enforcement agencies to log the details of almost everything that citizens' visit and access online, including Web site domain names and even details of Skype calls.  Jonathan Evans, the head of Britain's domestic intelligence service MI5, said in the U.K. parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee's report [PDF] that, "access to communications data of one sort or another is very important indeed."