UK Computer Users’ Browsing History under Attack by Police
Computer users in the UK are faced with the threat of increased surveillance power over their browsing history. Senior officers in the country are pushing for the revival of surveillance powers in advance of the upcoming legislation handling surveillance powers. According to the police in the UK, much greater power is required. They claim that the measures that are already in place are insufficient; thus there has been an increase of online activities.
The police have attempted to influence the UK government in favor of the power to go through browsing history of UK internet users in light of the issuing of legislation on bringing into conformity with surveillance powers. According to Times, It is clear that the main agenda of senior officers is to give artificial respiration to the measures that are absolutely similar to those found in the “snooper’s chapter”. These measures are aimed at forcing companies in the telecommunications sector to hold browsing data of all internet users in the UK for a period of twelve months.
According to the police, they claim that the nature of the current online activities is a proof that traditional measures are not enough. Therefore, there is every need for increased surveillance powers for the police. There has been no comment regarding the upcoming legislation by the spokesman of National Police Chief’s Council for data communications (Richard Berry). In accordance with the papers, Richard Berry said that the police are not after anything new other than what they have been accessing though telephone archives.
According to the assistant chief of Berry’s, officer at Gloucestershire, the law enforcement agency only wants to ensure agreed rules are observed by consent. Also the agency wants to ascertain that privacy measures are in place. The officer at Gloucestershire elaborated that they need specifics of any communication, including the involved parties, the time and the place the communication took place. He also included the need of information from a website’s activities, a banking site or on Facebook.
Berry’s assistant chief said that it has become much harder to put surveillance on a suspect when all the transactions are made online. He was in agreement that accessing internet users’ browsing data is far too officious, especially if requirements such as a judicial warrant are not met. Initially, the Liberal Democrats did block The Shelved Communications Data Bill. This bill was particularly blocked because of its privacy concerns. Therefore, the upcoming legislation, if passed will simply revive a copier of the bill that was blocked by the Liberal Democrats.
As stated in the papers by David Davis (Conservative MP), it is highly unusual that the senior officers are asking for increased measures of retaining internet users’ browsing data for a year. The Conservative MP insisted that the move by the senior officers is reaching for the heights and there is no actual need to hold onto the browsing data of internet users for a year. Generally, the bill is most likely to cause controversy while widening the authority of the police over browsing data of internet users.
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