Bad news awaits Britons this morning with Her Majesty’s assent to bring the Investigatory Powers Bill into effect. Well most British readers will at this point want to actually know what the investigatory powers bill details?
The Investigatory Powers Bill Defined
Inarguably the most severe & draconian cyber surveillance legislation ever created, The Investigatory Powers Bill or The IP Bill empowers UK surveillance agencies to place additional checks and gather information on all internet users in the country.
The IP Bill also enhances data collection from communication & online service providers, making it compulsory for them to hold retained data for up to 12 months. Following are the salient features of the IP Bill:
- Allows MPs the authority to issue warrants for uninformed surveillance
- Forces ISPs and Communication providers to retain customers’ browsing history for up to 12 months
- Enhances GCHQ, MI6 and MI5 bulk data collection and allows hacking in to users’ electronic devices without permission
The IP Bill passed the UK parliament without much debate or proper scrutiny, killing of the legitimacy of the bill. All surveillance measures will be legalized with very few safeguards on how surveillance is conducted.
Close to 48 different security agencies now have access to all the data of everyone in the United Kingdom. Agencies include the Met Police, British Transport Police, GCHQ, the MoD, the Department of Health, HM Revenue and Customs, and the Home Office.
“At a time of heightened security threat, it is essential our law enforcement, security and intelligence services have the powers they need to keep people safe,” … “The internet presents new opportunities for terrorists and we must ensure we have the capabilities to confront this challenge.” – UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd
Even Eddie Snowden woke up to some interesting news today:
The UK has just legalized the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy. It goes farther than many autocracies. https://t.co/yvmv8CoHrj
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) November 17, 2016
How To Protect Yourself from Intrusive Surveillance
So with surveillance and snooping now legal in the UK what are we supposed to do? Well some smart techies had the issue sorted before the bill even went through parliament.
Oh that reminds me.
I should switch to a VPN with that new shitty IP BILL.
— Aura Starwind ? (@TekFolf) November 30, 2016
I’m a dedicated Tory but the IP Bill is a nonsense. I use VPN on everything now, even cellular. You should do the same. https://t.co/sZzpMGKxtq
— Ben Dodson (@bendodson) November 29, 2016
While encryption solutions are now at risk from the government, UK citizens are now at an even greater risk of being surveilled if their internet activities are not protected by encryption. A non-US or non-UK-based VPN at this point is an essential protective measure for anyone who values their privacy when using the internet. We have compiled a list of VPN services that are not based in the UK (and therefore less susceptible to UK government pressure):
5.0 / 5.0
4.5 / 5.0
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4.0 / 5.0
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3.5 / 5.0
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3.0 / 5.0
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As the United Kingdom moves in to the next stage of implementing the surveillance state it is probably time to take proper measures. A VPN by far is the only tool that can partially protect your communications using leading edge encryption & tunneling technologies.
To know more visit our blog and learn more about Virtual Private Networks.