Last week was a bad week for UK privacy, but things are only going to get worse. Parliament passed the Snooper’s Charter which is officially called the Investigatory Powers Bill. The bill is replacing the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.
This new bill forces electronic data to be stored by UK Internet Services Providers for 12 months. This data can be collected by law enforcement or other potential government agencies – and no warrant is required. These other departments include GCHQ, government departments such as the Home Office, MoD, Department of Health, the Food Standards Agency, HM Revenue & Customs and the Gambling Commission.
It doesn’t matter if you clear your browser history or not, since this data will be stored by your internet service provider–which is the source of your internet connection. This history includes all websites you visited as well as other potential application data.
The Snooper’s Charter government fact-sheet clearly explains that a warrant is not necessary when gaining access to Internet Connection Records. The only thing required is a sign-off by a “designated senior person”.
Law abiding citizens should have the option of privacy in this digital age. If you still value your data privacy and don’t trust the government to handle your data correctly whether you are concerned about snoops or data leaks–or you are just afraid how far the UK can go with laws like this–you might want to check out encrypted VPN service so your web traffic can’t be read or deciphered.
TorGuard VPN gives you a new shared IP address that encrypts your internet connection so you become anonymous and completely hidden from your ISP. We are privacy advocates and we believe consumers should have access to a secure and open internet. Privacy is a right–not something to be questioned, manipulated or used by companies to progress their own agendas.
With TorGuard, you gain access to every website on the web, and you can ensure your data is never stolen in public Wi-Fi hotspots, or tracked and stored by your ISP.
A complete list of every department in the UK that will soon be able to view the internet history all UK citizens is as follows:
Metropolitan police force
City of London police force
Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
Police Service of Scotland
Police Service of Northern Ireland
British Transport Police
Ministry of Defence Police
Royal Navy Police
Royal Military Police
Royal Air Force Police
Secret Intelligence Service
Ministry of Defence
Department of Health
Ministry of Justice
National Crime Agency
HM Revenue & Customs
Department for Transport
Department for Work and Pensions
NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
Competition and Markets Authority
Criminal Cases Review Commission
Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland
Department of Justice in Northern Ireland
Financial Conduct Authority
Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
Food Standards Agency
Food Standards Scotland
Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
Health and Safety Executive
Independent Police Complaints Commissioner
NHS Business Services Authority
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organization
Office of Communications
Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
Scottish Ambulance Service Board
Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
Serious Fraud Office
Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust