Has UK Just Come up with the Worst Mass Surveillance Bill Yet?

Last updated: February 02, 2016

It looks like the UK is all set to pass a disastrous bill. Government officials are working round the clock to pass a mass surveillance bill, which is going to be a threat to your privacy without any doubt. The Investigatory Powers Bill is a disaster. And it looks like the parliament is going to give green signal to this controversial bill.

What can we expect from this new bill? Well, it is going to redefine how government surveillance is being conducted.

 

Massive scale surveillance

national security

This bill can be highly invasive in many ways. When this bill gets passed, they will be able to hack into computers and smart phones all over the country in the name of security. Do you know what name they have given for this? It is called ‘equipment interference’. You need to know that it’s just the beginning.

The bill is nearly 300 pages long. It aims to tighten the national security. According to them, making mass surveillance is a significant step in achieving this. How is that going to affect the internet users and mobile users? Well, the service providers will be forced to keep logs for up to a year. The devices used the sites you have visited and the number of hours you spent on that etc. is the things they will store in these logs.

If you have been keeping tab on world tech news, you might know that similar mass surveillance programs met with huge protests in many countries in Europe and in US. Moreover, many countries have banned these types of programs considering how invasive they are in nature.

 

The dangers

How does it work? They are planning to store the basic URLs you visit. For example, if you visit BBC.com, they will only keep BBC.com against the time of visit, instead of keeping individual links. However, there are other details that are less comforting including the IPs you have contacted. They are going to keep so many details, which is definitely not going to make you comfortable with this bill.

As for accessing the personal data, the officials will have to go through a rigorous authorization process named double-lock. Approvals from both home secretary and specially appointed judge are mandatory for accessing emails, phone calls and text messages. That is comforting, right? Well, wait for it – there is a small clause that allows them to bypass all these hurdles in the case of an emergency! It is not really the fair solution we have been looking for, is it?

 

Not just ‘Metadata’

We are not referring to mere metadata here. They will get access everything regarding your life. Or in short, you will have little or no privacy.

Those who have come up with this bill argue that government is doing this in order to ensure national security. And they will tell you that this is not going to affect the national security. We know that it doesn’t make any sense as our every move is being recorded.

 

VPN

Don’t let the government do this to you and start using VPN services. When you are using a VPN service, you will be able to protect your identity on the internet. You will be able to save yourself from government snooping.