Snooper’s Charter or the Investigatory Powers Bill enables the collection of people’s internet activities on a mass scale. The internet providers are required to maintain an Internet Connection Record for the websites visited by their users and provide it to authorized government bodies upon request.
The Investigatory Powers Bill aka Snooper’s Charter has been passed by the UK Parliament. The bill – designed to stretch the surveillance hands of the government – has been a cause of jitters for many people. It proposes that the ISPs should maintain an Internet Connection Record (ICR) of the websites and services accessed by their users.
The bill also inspired a UK-based engineer Gareth Llewelyn to create his own internet company.
The internet history log, required to be kept for a period of 12 months, will be available to a number of government authorities on request. The Schedule 4 of the Snooper’s Charter enlists names of the eligible public authorities and senior officers. It includes various police and defense departments, the secret service, Food Standards Agency, Serious Fraud Office, etc. However, in order to obtain the ICR, the bill mandates that the requester has to be a minimum officer rank.
It took years for the Snooper’s Charter – yet to receive the Royal Assent – to make it to reality after it was first sponsored in 2012 by the then home secretary Theresa May. The bill has received a lot of criticism since the beginning as it tries to circumvent UK citizens’ privacy on a wholesale level.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht