New surveillance law plans have been unveiled today by Home Secretary Theresa May. The new plans mean that internet companies can hold data on every website you visit for a year. Every. Single. Website. If passed, the law is sure to divide opinion on how this is an issue of privacy.
What is it for?
The Investigatory Powers Bill is mainly for the authorities to use for covert operations. Going undercover catches many criminals each year, but with new technological laws they will be able to further infiltrate criminal activity and stop it before it goes too far. All good stuff so far, right?
There is of course talk of Great Britain turning into a ‘Big Brother State’ with the government becoming the ‘all-seeing’ body in charge. The truth is, all the bill will do is allow police and senior judges to access the who, when and where of communications and websites, not the “what”. For example they’ll be able to tell who made a call, when they made a call and where they made a call, but not what was in the call itself – that kind of access needs a warrant.
Another kind of access that needs a warrant is intercepting where to buy venlafaxine software, i.e., hacking it. The GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) currently called this ‘equipment interference’ but if it’s covered by a law it could help to catch organised criminal gangs and terrorists. Former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation and a Liberal Democrat Peer, Lord Carlile told Sky News: “It is a significant and formidable bill which will enable the authorities to catch serious and organised criminals and terrorists to protect the public.”
Is your data really safe?
There will always be a worry about private data being accessed unlawfully, like that similar of what happened to TalkTalk recently. The government plans on encryption are also going to be closely watched ensuring that data isn’t easily accessible. Current protection provided by Whatsapp and Apple is so secure that even technology wizards in Silicon Valley struggle to crack it, so your data is safe!
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