BRITS DON'T TRUST incoming US president Donald Trump to be able to resist using state surveillance powers, handily expanded by outoing President Obama, for personal gain.
That's according to a survey by Privacy International, which seems to suggest that Brits will be up all night with worry over what, exactly, Trump will do after he's sworn in.
According to the survey, four-fifths expect Trump to use his surveillance powers in some way for personal gain, while half claimed that they have "no trust" in Trump only using the US government's surveillance and information-gathering powers for "legitimate purposes".
Furthermore, three-quarters of respondents want the UK government to be more proactive in terms of making sure that the Trump's administration cannot misuse their personal data.
Why Trump personally wants to peruse the web-browsing history of Mrs S. Miggins of 666 Acacia Gardens, Portsmouth, is altogether more of a mystery. But Mrs T. May of London, her acquaintance and close personal friend Mr J. Corbyn, and Mrs N. Sturgeon of Edinburgh might have more legitimate grounds for concern.
Donald Trump's inauguration and the Privacy International poll come just weeks after the Investigatory Powers Act, better known as the Snoopers' Charter, became law. This ratcheted up the UK government's powers to conduct online surveillance and to collect and analyse people's personal data.
Under intelligence-gathering agreements with the US, this information could also find its way into the hands of the US National Security Agency, the US equivalent of GCHQ.
The UK's intelligence-sharing with the US is based upon the UK-USA Agreement, drafted shortly after World War II, which allows UK and US agencies to share, by default, any raw intelligence, collection equipment, decryption techniques and translated documents.
Current arrangements also allow US intelligence agencies to collect intelligence and operate from within the UK.
"Today, a new President will take charge of US intelligence agencies - a President whose appetite for surveillance powers and how they're used puts him at odds with British values, security, and its people," claimed Privacy International research officer Edin Omanovic.
He continued: "Four out of five British people think he will use these powers for personal gain. Given that our intelligence agencies are giving him unfettered access to massive troves of personal data, including potentially about British people, it is essential that the details behind all this are taken out of the shadows.
"Secret powers overseen by secret mechanisms are not good enough: it is vital that we know more about what data Trump will get and how this is overseen."
Omanovic suggested that while people have started to understand the level of cooperation and information sharing between spooks on both sides of the Atlantic, the lack of sufficient oversight remains "dangerous". µ
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