The Investigatory Powers Bill becomes law Tuesday!

  Flak999 18:58 29 Nov 2016

How many of you are bothered that this bill described as the most extreme surveillance in the history of Western democracy, has quietly completed it's way through parliament and receives Royal assent on Tuesday?

This article from the BBC details what the authorities will be able to know about your internet browsing history from next week as ISP's will have to collect and store this information about all of us for a year.

Subscribe to that old adage 'if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear'? Bear in mind this is what Joseph Goebbels told the German population when the Geheime Staatspolizei were breaking down their doors looking for enemies of the state!

This is the list of people able to gain access to your browsing history from Tuesday:

Metropolitan police force

City of London police force

Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996

Police Service of Scotland

Police Service of Northern Ireland

British Transport Police

Ministry of Defence Police

Royal Navy Police

Royal Military Police

Royal Air Force Police

Security Service

Secret Intelligence Service


Ministry of Defence

Department of Health

Home Office

Ministry of Justice

National Crime Agency

HM Revenue & Customs

Department for Transport

Department for Work and Pensions

NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services

Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service

Competition and Markets Authority

Criminal Cases Review Commission

Department for Communities in Northern Ireland

Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland

Department of Justice in Northern Ireland

Financial Conduct Authority

Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004

Food Standards Agency

Food Standards Scotland

Gambling Commission

Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority

Health and Safety Executive

Independent Police Complaints Commissioner

Information Commissioner

NHS Business Services Authority

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board

Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation

Office of Communications

Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

Police Investigations and Review Commissioner

Scottish Ambulance Service Board

Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission

Serious Fraud Office

Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust

You may think to yourselves, but surely there will be safeguards? Not really! There doesn't have to be a court order signed by a judge, just a senior officer from any of these organisations can authorise access to your information. That is a police officer of the rank of Superintendent or higher. Who that is in the food standards agency is anybodies guess!

The capacity for this information to be misused hacked or lost is mind boggling, not to mention the misuse by corrupt officials selling the data on. I don't know about the rest of you but I have already signed up for a VPN service, and will use this and the TOR browser in combination to protect my data!

  oresome 19:32 29 Nov 2016

I don't know about the rest of you but I have already signed up for a VPN service, and will use this and the TOR browser in combination to protect my data!

Are you sure your actions won't bring you to the attention of one or more of the agencies listed as being someone with something to hide and worthy of special surveillance measures? Better to be lost in all the noise I'd have thought.

As long as there is a trail of who has accessed the data and when, I'm not fearful of unscrupulous use providing unauthorised access is made a serious offence. It's a price we have to pay in order to counter terrorism and fight crime.

  morddwyd 19:56 29 Nov 2016

In answer to your question I am not bothered at all.

Similar organisations have surveillance powers, starting with mail, and then telephones mortified by advancing technology, since Napoleonic times when Parliament granted them to William Pit to enable him to counter Napoleon's deeply embedded, and highly placed, network of spies who had come over in the guise of refugees, just as they are doing today.

Just as those with friends in influential places fought against it then, so they are doing today.

  lotvic 20:23 29 Nov 2016

How can I stop the postman gossiping (Oops, I mean conversing - or having a laugh down the pub) about who sends me postcards, and which printed magazines and packages in plain wrappers - with the senders address clearly displayed - etc. I get delivered to my door, etc etc.

  daz60 22:19 29 Nov 2016

"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." E Snowden, now in exile because he revealed the 'truth'.

If we the people have no privacy why should the organisations that make up the 'state' have privacy.i have as much right to know what 'they' do in my name as they believe they do of me.

  Forum Editor 22:51 29 Nov 2016

Why would I possibly have cause for concern about this - what is it that is so terrible about anyone knowing which web sites I visit?

What is it that is going to be so attractive to hackers about the fact that I visited a site that sells lavender plants?

The people who have cause to fear this legislation are those who are doing things that threaten to undermine our society, or people who are abusing our welfare services. They are the people who are this bill's targets.

There is already a lot of information about each one of us out there in database after database, and there is nothing that we can do about it.

For most of us that old saying applies - we have nothing to fear except fear itself. If you think anyone from the security services (or the Food Standards agency for that matter) is going to have the time or the inclination to trawl through your internet browsing history you are in cloud cuckoo land.

Rest easy, Flak999, your secret is safe with us.

  Burn-it 23:01 29 Nov 2016

Is the same list that have statuary right of entry to your home??

  Flak999 23:17 29 Nov 2016

Forum Editor

Complacent as ever FE! Funny isn't it that many others see the danger in this? Given the woeful record of various government agencies in the handling of individuals private data and the very real possibility of the hacking or misuse of these records, you just trot out the old establishment line 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear'

The possibility that some future government not so wedded to the principles of democracy might have access to this information is a real worry, and to be honest whether I am looking at lavender plants or researching websites on political activism I want my privacy respected, and I do not want some petty government functionary having access to my computer records or browsing habits.

This is not China or North Korea and the line between democracy and totalitarianism is a very thin one! You may not care about your online privacy, but I do! There are ways around this law and I for one shall be using them!

  Devil Fish 23:42 29 Nov 2016

Rock and a hard place springs to mind whilst i'm all for it being used in a constructive way terrorists,Criminals etc,I'am also concerned it could be abused.Example i'm a gamer their are games i play legally brought and paid for that cant be played on my system due to old DRM systems so i download cracks to circumnavigate the problem, Which technically is illegal.could this new law be used against me what are the boundaries.Know one knows so that makes it an issue

  Forum Editor 07:57 30 Nov 2016

"Complacent as ever FE! Funny isn't it that many others see the danger in this?"

Many others still think the earth is flat, and that Aldi and Lidl are run by two brothers.

I hope I'm not complacent - that means showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements.

I'm a realist. I know that no harm can come to me or mine because my browsing habits will be on a database - everyone's browsing habits are already stored on databases all over the world. Cookies can track my movements.

The difference in the case of the new legislation is that the information already gathered by my ISP will have to be retained for a year, and various agencies will be able (if they feel the need) to look at the record of the sites I visited, but not at which pages on those sites I looked at.

It's not a big deal - the chances of an agency wanting to track my browsing habits is remote. The chances of an agency wanting to investigate someone who - like you - sets out to deliberately conceal their browsing habits (and foolishly announces the fact on a public web forum) is very much greater.

  BT 08:35 30 Nov 2016

Its all a matter of degree. Much as the scammers would try to convince you that 'Microsoft have detected that your PC is infected', anyone with a glimmer of common sense would realise that there is no way that Microsoft can monitor all the Windows PCs in the world. Similarly there is no way the authorities are going to be able to monitor everyone's online activity, unless there is a good reason to suspect that you have been doing something suspicious. In that case its a good thing.

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