Now, it’s the United Kingdom’s turn.
The Investigatory Powers Act replaces existing law under the Telecommunications Act and brings government mass surveillance into the Internet age with a bang. The IP Act made it through both Houses, without adding any of the privacy constraining amendments suggested by the House of Lords Intelligence and Security Committee, and will become law within weeks.
Under the new law, the UK government can access 12 months of your Internet history at the drop of a hat. Additionally, they now have the power to infiltrate and infect your computer in the course of an investigation with only the say-so of the Home Secretary. Jenny Jones.
UK based privacy rights organisation Privacy International emphasised that a person’s internet history is the mecca of private information:
“They are comparable to a compilation of call records, postal records, library records, study and research records, social and leisure activity records and location records, and will additionally capture concerns about health, sexual and family issues…. The agencies would be able to acquire this intrusive, population-level data in bulk under bulk acquisition powers.”
What’s interesting is that the new act actually calls for “internet connection records” not from Internet service providers (ISPs), but rather from Connection service providers (CSPs). Observers have noted that it is possible and even likely that the Investigatory Powers Act will be used to coerce UK-based VPN companies to start logging Internet connection records. Unless you use proper protection when you are using the internet from the UK, your internet browsing activity and phone call history will be logged and presented to the government
What can you do? Use a VPN that is NOT based in the UK.