Police are being given the power to view everyone’s internet history in its new surveillance bill to be published next week according to reports.
The rather intrusive measure will make it a legal requirement for telecoms and internet service providers to retain all customers web browsing history for at least one year, according to the Daily Telegraph. Incognito mode won’t even save you now.
Police, intelligence services, and the National Crime Agency will be among those who can access the details, however, they would need approval from a judge to view the content of all the websites you visited, emails, and messages over the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
These services have argued that these powers are necessary due to the scale of activity online. The Guardian reported that police have lobbied the government for the change.
Richard Berry, the National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman for data communications, told The Guardian:
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.
Next Wednesday’s bill is expected to be a revival of Home Secretary Theresa May’s ‘snooper’s charter’, which suffered a setback earlier this year when an independent review raised concerns over the move. Big brother will be watching, but in the form of Theresa May – what a fucking terrifying thought.
Goodbye privacy, we will miss you.