Snoopers’ Charter Gets The Go-Ahead
Between Brexit, Toblerone-gate & the fact that Nigel Farage is still being allowed mainstream airtime, it’s been a pretty bleak time for us Brits these past few months. However, in keeping with our reputation as being ever-pessimistic and sarcastic, it’s about to get that little bit worse. Strap in, boys, we’re all doomed.
Today, our UNELECTED House of Lords backed down on an amendment to the Investigatory Powers Bill – oft-referred to as The Snoopers’ Charter – which means that it will inevitably become law at some point in the future.
Originally proposed in 2012 by then-Home Secretary/now-PM, Theresa May, the Bill was quickly rebuked by campaigners and MPs who believed that it was a breach of citizens’ privacy as it requires ISPs to collect & store every customer’s browsing history for up to a year.
However, with the ever-present threat of terrorism rising globally, the remaining protestors to the Bill have retracted their opposition. All it needs now is the Royal stamp of approval before it’s officially named into law – we reckon this will happen sooner rather than later.
There’s been a lot of speculation, hype & *buzz word klaxon* fear-mongering regarding this Bill and what it means for the British people. It’s actually not as Orwellian as it sounds; only a select few government departments will have access to a British resident’s real-time web history, presumably through backdoors into every ISP’s database, but will also be able to hack into computers and devices of suspected criminals. There will, reportedly, be various safeguards in place to prevent abuse of power by government agencies; the most notable being a so-called ‘double lock system’. This requires the Home Secretary and an independent judicial commissioner to agree on the decision to issue a search warrant based on all available evidence.
Like a true politician, Prime Minister May is downplaying the bill with claims that successive British government administrations have been issuing secret directives to telecoms providers demanding that they intercept customers’ messages. In order to lift the ‘cloak & dagger’ espionage element of the Bill, the government hopes to introduce a layer of transparency with the Investigatory Powers Bill. Hopes.
We don’t know how we feel about this. But as with most instances of cybercrime and tech-related investigations; nothing to hide, nothing to fear and all that.