There are private discussions going on between the Government and UK Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – and it’s one of interest to you, because they’re talking about how they are going to record everything that you do online.
Officially known as the Communications Data Bill – but more commonly refereed to as the ‘Snooper’s Charter’ – it currently intends to supplement your Internet usage with the details of every phone call you make and receive, as well as email that you send.
All of this information will then potentially be available to the Government and their agencies – even those that have nothing to do with law and order.
Discussions are hidden from public gaze
What’s most worrying is that this isn’t being done out in the open, but in secret, behind closed doors – beyond the public gaze.
The Open Rights Group has written an open letter to the heads of the UK ISPs in an attempt to get their attention on the matter.
In addition to the as-yet-never-attempted grab (and hold) of all of your online activity for a year, it’s also expected that this is going to cost the Government (ie tax payers) a fortune to implement and run – with current estimates at £2Bn, reportedly to be taken from the front-line Policing budget.
The Security Minister James Brokenshire MP said: “This legislation is vital to help catch paedophiles, terrorists and other serious criminals.”
Everyone’s details would be captured
Because of its all encompassing nature, it will of course, capture everything about everybody else in the process.
It appears that the number of Government agencies that are requesting access to this data is also ballooning. “Council staff, health and safety inspectors and even Royal Mail want to harness the Government’s proposed “Snoopers’ Charter” to monitor private emails, telephone records and Internet use”, say Big Brother Watch.
Cameron advisor: “I don’t trust future governments”
An advisor to Number 10, Ben Hammersley, is even concerned about it, pointing out, “I don’t trust future governments. The successors of the politicians who put this in place might not be trustworthy.”
What can you do?
If you don’t think this is being gone about the right way, or you are at all worried that people who are not connected with law enforcement could be give access to your Web browsing data/email/phone calls/texts, the Open Right Group have created a simple way to voice your disapproval.