Morning Security Brief: UK Surveillance Plan, Cattlemen Worry About EPA Surveillance, Law Unmasks Internet Trolls, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►U.K. authorities plan to reveal more details about a new bill that would allow tracking of the electronic conversations of every U.K. resident. “The proposed mass surveillance law would collect detailed information about the private communications of millions of Britons, a step the government insists is necessary to fight terrorism and crime,” the Associated Press reports. Details of the bill are being presented to lawmakers on Thursday.

►A new rule introduced by the British government requires Web sites to identify anonymous Internet users who defame others. The new rule come as part of the Defamation Bill. Supporters of the legislation argue that victims have a right to know who is behind a cyber-bullying attack – and the new law makes it easier for victims to get the identities of their bullies -- but privacy advocates say there is a concern that Web sites will start divulging the details of users “the moment someone alleges defamation in order to shield themselves from libel actions,” the BBC reports.

►Nebraska cattle farmers are concerned that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) went too far by taking aerial photos of their farms as part of inspections without their knowledge. “We feel it’s fairly intrusive, because someone’s home is located on the same property where a livestock operation is. That’s personal privacy space and I think all citizens of this country would prefer that the government not be indirectly taking pictures of them sitting on their deck,” said Kristen Hassebrook, director of natural resources and environmental affairs for Nebraska Cattlemen. The Supreme Court in the past has ruled that since the location is a business that “there is no expectation of privacy on the roof.” The EPA says aerial surveillance as part of inspections isn’t new and that it has been going on for more than a decade.

►In other news, a 5.4 magnitude earthquake hits California. ♦ Residents capture photos of a UAV being transported on the DC beltway. ♦ And Venezuela announces that is has begun manufacturing UAVs.




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