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Government now wants to pry on Facebook

Facebook could soon be open to the authorities
Facebook could soon be open to the authorities

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has hinted that authorities may be given the right to access your online information from social networking and auction sites.

The plans to create a large database of emails and phone calls were controversial enough, but the new plan is to make any website offering free accounts fair game for the relevant authorities.

This is again being proposed under the heading of anti-terrorism measures, and includes video websites like YouTube and online auctions, such as eBay.


Smith says in a speech that websites that offers a free account "are a potential hotbed for terrorist activity", as the activity on them is not tracked.

She wants the relevant authorities to be able to track potential terrorists' actions, although only names and locations would be logged, not the content of the message.

So while there isn't going to be a huge database where all your digital communications live, you might want to think twice about putting up an image of Osama Bin Laden as your profile picture for comedy effect.