It’s finally happened — Police in the United Kingdom have been given the power to see the internet history of the country’s citizens, and your country might be next.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the intrusive measure requires telecoms and internet service providers to hold onto all customers web browsing history for at least one year, and there is nothing you can do about it.
Things like the websites you visited (clean and dirty), emails, and social media (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) messages will be accessible by the UK’s police, intelligence services, the National Crime Agency and other authorized institutions, but only after they get approval from a judge.
Proponents (primarily the police) of the new bill argue that such powers are necessary because of the relatively large scale of activity online.
In an interview with The Guardian, the National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman for data communications, Richard Berry, said:
“We essentially need the ‘who, where, when and what’ of any communication – who initiated it, where were they and when did it happened. And a little bit of the ‘what’, were they on Facebook, or a banking site, or an illegal child-abuse image-sharing website? Five years ago, [a suspect] could have physically walked into a bank and carried out a transaction. We could have put a surveillance team on that but now, most of it is done online. We just want to know about the visit.”
To our UK readers, say goodbye to whatever little privacy you had left, because big brother can and will be watching whatever you do online. As for everyone else, you might be next…