Civil liberty groups have voiced severe criticism over the newly published Data Communications bill aka snoopers’ charter. The controversial bill extends the type of data that Internet Service Providers must keep to include your emails, web browsing history and social media posts- including Skype.
The government claims that the legislation is need in the fight against criminals and terrorists.
However activists have dubbed it a snooper’s charter.
“This is all about giving the police unsupervised access to data. It is shocking for a government that opposed Labour’s plans on this to propose virtually the same thing,” said Jim Killock, director of the Open Rights Group.
“It will cost billions of pounds and will end up only catching the stupid or the innocent. Terrorists will circumvent it.”
Dyenamic Solutions also points out the non UK organisations may not be compelled to store your data- thus not only driving a coach and horses through the intended effectiveness, but also forcing many UK ecommerce business abroad.
Publishing the bill, Home Secretary Theresa May said: “Communications data saves lives. It is a vital tool for the police to catch criminals and to protect children.”
But Mr Killock argues that knowing where a citizen has been online is equally intrusive.
Drawing a parallel he said: “If I’m having an affair then who I’m talking to is just as revealing as what I say,” he said.
The bill – an update to the controversial RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) legislation – lays out new duties for the UK communications companies.
The new proposals would require ISPs to keep details of a much wider range of data including use of social network sites, webmail, voice calls over the internet, and gaming. Websites you visit will also be recorded.
The Internet Service Providers’ Association said that it would be lobbying MPs in the coming months.
“Ispa has concerns about the new powers to require network operators to capture and retain third party communications data,” said a spokesman.
“These concerns include the scope and proportionality, privacy and data protection implications and the technical feasibility.
“Whilst we appreciate that technological developments mean that government is looking again at its communications data capabilities, it is important that powers are clear and contain sufficient safeguards,” it added.
Please join the Snoopers Charter Petition– it takes just 2 minutes and could have a huge effect against this red tape- which the Financial Times estimates will cost us £2.8 billion over the next 10 years.