Briefly: Internet group says surveillance program in works

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UNITED KINGDOM

LONDON Every email to your child. Every status update for your friends. Every message to your mistress.

An official with Britain’s Internet Service Providers’ Association says the government is preparing proposals for a nationwide electronic surveillance network that could potentially keep track of every message sent by any Brit to anyone at any time.

Similar plans were abandoned in 2008 after a public outcry. But the Service Providers’ Association’s James Blessing says the government appears to be “reintroducing it on a slightly different format.”

Britain’s Home Office declined to comment on the particulars of any such move, but a spokesman said Sunday that it would not involve prying into the content of emails or voice conversations.

RUSSIA

Red Square closed; 55 arrested before rally

MOSCOW Russian authorities Sunday cordoned off Moscow’s iconic Red Square and arrested 55 opposition supporters to prevent a rally against President-elect Vladimir Putin.

All access roads to the central square were blocked off, and police arrested dozens of supporters of the “Russia Without Putin” movement.

It came as others shouted slogans against Mr. Putin, who was elected for a third presidential term on March 4 with more than 63 percent of the vote despite months of protests against his regime.

Police arrested 55 people “for trying to stage an unauthorized demonstration,” the Itar-Tass news agency said.

Red Square is closed,” Moscow police added in a statement.

At least 80 people were arrested in Moscow and St. Petersburg on Saturday as police broke off unauthorized demonstrations against Mr. Putin, the current prime minister.

Saturday’s rally was part of the opposition’s long-running campaign to uphold Article 31 of the constitution, which guarantees freedom of assembly.

FRANCE

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