New UK Law Allows Spying On Browser History, Personal Internet Habits

Whatever you’ve been looking at, whoever you’ve been talking to, and wherever you’ve been getting your kicks (and kinks) online over the course of 12 months will be accessible by the government. A new U.K., bill called the Investigatory Powers Bill has been passed through quickly by parliament according to a brief but frightening report by Breitbart.

The online website reports that the only formality left is for the Royal Assent to put a stamp on the bill to make it official.

The bill is supposed to allow the government better ways to protect users against threats by invading their privacy.

Computer Weekly went a bit more in-depth, detailing how the bill would allow police and government agencies access to personal and private internet usage data, along with metadata access, such as chat feeds, logs, browsing history, form data and contact information.

According to the reports, members of parliament made sure there were amendments in bill to exempt them from being scrutinized by the new security provisions. Do as they say, but not as they do.

ISPs and communication services would be required by law to store user data for up to 12 months so that if or when that data is required to be viewed by law, it will be made available, even if it’s against the wishes of the service providers, whether that be Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft or Yahoo!.

CensorNet’s CEO Ed Macnair noted how devastating this new privacy invasion policy could be for the average citizen, telling Computer Weekly…

““Aside from the arguments around privacy, which are extensive and valid, it’s also a huge security risk,” […] “Can you imagine the damage that could be done to individuals if their private browsing history was made public? That’s not people on ‘dodgy’ sites, but individuals with highly personal concerns, from sexuality and HIV, to addictions and depression.


“The Ashley Madison data breach, if nothing else, showed us the devastation that occurs when incredibly personal information is leaked,”

The really frightening thing about it is that there were two games released recently that deal directly with the dire, invasive and troubling consequences of state-controlled privacy access. Beholder and the fittingly named Orwell deal with state governed infrastructures that allow them instant access to anyone’s personal data and metadata. The game’s offer users an inside look at the dangers of allowing Big Brother access to every inch of your personal life through digital communities and social media.

Both Breitbart and Computer Weekly have reported that various anti-spy groups and citizens who are aware of the bill have protested the law that seeks to invade the privacy of average individuals. Sadly, though there isn’t much that they can do at this point.

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