UK varsities spy on students
LONDON: British universities are helping intelligence agencies tap students’ phone calls and intercept e-mails in an attempt to flush out those with links to terrorist groups, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper said on Saturday.
Most of the country’s universities cooperate with the Special Branch - Britain’s police unit concerned with national security - and the domestic counter-intelligence agency MI5 in the surveillance, the Telegraph reported.
The scheme was set up after the September 11 attacks, the paper said, quoting unnamed security sources. A particularly close eye is kept on students from so-called “red flag” countries such as Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Libya and Syria, with students’ telephone numbers, e-mail and home addresses passed onto the security services. “It’s happening, and it’s pretty well known that it’s happening,” an official, described as being connected to British and American security, was quoted as telling the paper. —AFP