The UK is taking a scary turn in regards to surveillance; this will allow intelligence agencies and police to spy on UK citizens at an extraordinary degree that is against democracy. Fortunately, the UN privacy chief has termed the move as worse than scary, Edward Snowden also termed the move as the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy.
If the Investigatory Powers Bill undergoes the formality of royal assent, it will officially be enacted as a Law which will legalize the UK’s global surveillance program. The program will be capable of globally scooping up communications data. As if that’s not enough, it will also add domestic powers such as allowing the government to have a database that stores the web history of its citizens. This will empower UK hackers; allowing them to hack infrastructure, people, and even whole cities if the UK government deems it necessary.
There has been opposition to the bill, the Labour Party objected the bill. However, the internal conflict in the Labour and the sudden move that the UK made to leave the EU implies that the country and its politicians didn’t have ample time to scrutinize the bill. If enacted, the bill will influence other nations to have such Laws in place, after all if the UK can do it, why not?
The world has recently taken up the surveillance laws to the next level; it’s therefore important to be informed on the constitution of such Laws. Let’s take a closer look at the UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill.
The government will collect the record of every website, apps, and call metadata of its citizens for a one year period that its citizens use. The information is termed as the internet connection records or ICRs; it will include the base domain not the exact URL of websites.
The government will pay the ISP’s and mobile carriers for storage The police will have access to the request filter to retrieve desired information; this will be a central search engine for all the stored data. In summary the bill will enable the government to collect the nation’s browser history and conduct search engine matches, the government will access its citizens call data and web history without any warrant, the Bill will introduce bulk data collection and hacking, target hacking could be used to target specific groups of people, and he government will most likely break encryption.