Snoopers’ Charter Explained: All Your Data

SNOOPERS

Big Brother Watch have released a series of fact sheets explaining the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, better known as the Snooper’s Charter. The principal areas of note are as follows:

Internet Connection Records: • Telecommunication Services will be asked to keep a log of all of our online activity for 12 months.

• Every website you visit and the time, location and information about your device will be stored.

• ICRs will be used on production of a warrant by the police, intelligence agencies and other organisations including HMRC and the NHS.

• There are no specific requirements regarding how securely the information must be held.

Equipment Interference: • Your computer, phone or tablet could be made vulnerable by malicious software.

• You will never know if you have been the target of a hack.

• Even if you are not hacked a business or organisation you have innocent dealings with may be the target of a hack.

Communications Data

• Whenever you make a call, send a text, send an email or go online you create communications data.

• Your communications data can reveal every aspect of your online life.

• The Government wants Telecommunication Services to keep all your communications data for 12 months.

• The police, the tax man, the NHS and local councils can all request access to your communications data.

Interception: • Interception is the process of spying on texts, emails and internet activity or the listening in on telephone calls.

• Targeted intercept is specific, bulk intercept is broad.

• Without an indication of who bulk interception will be used against, anyone who uses the internet or a telephone could be vulnerable to their data being looked at or listened to.

• Any evidence gathered through intercept cannot be used in a court of law. It can only be used as part of a secret investigation.

Bulk Personal Datsets: • Bulk personal datasets are files of information on all UK citizens.

• Very little detail is provided about what datasets can be requested and used.

• BPDs contain information and details about people not suspected of terrorism or crime.

• The Home Secretary will sign warrants for use, Judicial Commissioners will only have the opportunity to review the decision.

Authorisation:• The Home Secretary already signs an average of 6 warrants a day on top of her other Ministerial duties.

• The “double lock” is more of a “rubber stamp” as the decision to authorise a warrant will be made by a Secretary of State and the Judicial Commissioner will only “review” the decision.

• We will be the only country in the “Five Eyes” alliance which will not have true independent authorisation. • Judicial authorisation rather than review will prevent any political abuse of the warrantry process.

Warrants: • A warrant is needed before any of the powers can be used.

• The detail of a warrant, including the operational purpose can be changed after a warrant has been approved sometimes without any further approval.

• Each request must be seen to be“necessary and proportionate”, but these terms are broad and open to interpretation.

Big brother is hacking…

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