‘The Investigatory Powers Act is world-leading legislation’
Amber Rudd (Home Secretary)
One might ask, what part of the world are we leading exactly:
North Korea, Cuba, China and Saudi Arabia?
Passed into UK law on 29th November 2016 with barely a whimper.
(Replaces the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act – DRIPA)
‘…it establishes a dangerous new norm, where surveillance of all citizens’ online activity is seen as the baseline for a peaceful society.
Collect evidence first, the government is saying, and find the criminals later.’
Jim Killock (Open Rights Group)
At a Glance:
Telecoms providers obligated to retain data on British Citizens web activity (ICR) for 12 months.
Legalises the surveillance and ‘Targeted Equipment Interference’ (hacking) activities undertaken over many years by GCHQ and other agencies, including the collection of metadata and hacking of individuals computers and phones. (As exposed by Edward Snowden in 2013)
Legalises the wider power of ‘Bulk Equipment Interference’ (Mass Hacking) into large groups of computers and mobile phones of citizens overseas.
Provides for access by 48 named groups to the stored data, and establishes a ‘Request Filter’ (Common Database) enabling access through a single source. (Still being defined by the Home Office)
Allows access to masses of stored personal data, even if the person under scrutiny is not suspected of any wrongdoing.
Police can request viewing journalists’ call and web records. (Seen as a potential death sentence for whistleblowing and investigative journalism).
Technology companies and service providers can be asked to remove encryption on a given user’s device or service, where ‘Practicable’.
However, unlike the Apple case in the US, it’s expected that any cases in the UK will take place in private.
‘Any warrants issued to a company to decrypt users’ data will come with a gagging order, forbidding the firm from discussing it. There wouldn’t be any public debate about it.’ Harmit Kambo (Privacy International)
Who can access our data?
Amongst the more obvious police, military, and security services are a few less obvious, including:
Food Standards Agency
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Transport
Department of Health
Revenue and Customs
English Ambulance Trust
Scottish Ambulance Service
Welsh Ambulance Service
Health and Safety Executive
Fire and Rescue Authority
Competition and Markets Authority
‘The UK now has a surveillance law that is more suited to a dictatorship than a democracy.’
Jim Killock (Open Rights Group)
‘We have created the tools for repression.’
‘None of us online are now guaranteed the right to communicate privately and, most importantly, securely.’
Renate Samson (Big Brother Watch)
‘The UK … joining the likes of China and Russia in collecting everyone’s browsing habits.’
Anne Jellema, ( World Wide Web Foundation)
This snoopers charter ‘has no place in modern democracy. The bulk collection of everyone’s internet browsing data is disproportionate, creates a security nightmare for the ISPs who must store the data, and rides roughshod over our right to privacy.’
Sir Tim Berners-Lee Inventor of World Wide Web.
‘It’s sad that the Snowden revelations backfired so spectacularly here. Rather than rolling back powers, they’ve been used to legitimize these practices.’ Harmit Kambo (Privacy International)
‘The UK has just legalised the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy. It goes farther than many autocracies.’
Edward Snowden (NSA whistle blower)
Investigatory Powers Act 2016
Links to all 305 pages;
Click to access ukpga_20160025_en.pdf
I wonder how many of our MPs have read, and understood, this piece of art?