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Snooping..... at its worst

The Brits have just brought in legislation which allows for unprecedented "snooping" in a Western democracy - says Edward Snowden.   Let truthdig explain....

"On Tuesday, the United Kingdom instated the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, a piece of legislation described by whistleblower Edward Snowden as “the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy.”

The law, informally known as the “Snooper’s Charter,” spent over a year in Parliament before it was passed. The Guardian reported:

"The new surveillance law requires web and phone companies to store everyone’s web browsing histories for 12 months and give the police, security services and official agencies unprecedented access to the data.

It also provides the security services and police with new powers to hack into computers and phones and to collect communications data in bulk. The law requires judges to sign off police requests to view journalists’ call and web records, but the measure has been described as “a death sentence for investigative journalism” in the UK."


More than 140,000 people have signed a petition opposing the surveillance law, but Tuesday’s action was the final step for the bill to become official.

CNET explained some details of the new law, which will affect U.K. residents:

"ISPs and mobile phone providers will keep a record of every website visit of anyone using a British network for up to a year. That include[s] sites visited through mobile browsers and phone apps (like Facebook)—but not individual web pages. So there would be a record of you visiting cnet.com, for example, but not of any news articles you read or videos you watched.

The data will be stored by the network that collected it, but police and many government departments will be able to use a central search tool to find and access those records. The list of who will be able to see your internet history includes nearly 50 organizations.

Searches of that data will be conducted at the discretion of the police and will be overseen by a specially trained supervising officer only. There will be no judicial oversight.

The only way to avoid your internet history being stored is to use a proxy or virtual private network (VPN)."

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