Posted on Nov 29, 2016 by Caleb Chen

H.R.M. Queen Elizabeth II gives royal assent to Investigatory Powers Act; Snooper’s Charter becomes law




It’s official, the Investigatory Powers Act has received royal assent as of Tuesday afternoon and what has been billed as the most draconian mass surveillance law that has ever officially become law in a Western country. The Investigatory Powers Act, dubbed the “Snooper’s Charter” by British media, is nothing short of blatant, privacy-invading mass surveillance. Under the new law, UK companies will be forced to aid government agencies in breaking into suspects’ smartphones and computers. What’s worse, every Connection Service Provider in the UK now has to store 1 year of “internet connection records” and metadata that are to be available to the government at the drop of a hat. The same applies for mobile phone history.

The law was first proposed over a year ago and did not receive sufficient opposition from MPs. In fact, the only amendment that the politicians involved allowed to the Snooper’s Charter was to exempt MPs from being spied upon.

Investigatory Powers Act receives royal assent, becomes law immediately

Now that the IP Act has officially been enacted, according to Schedule 4 of the act, these are the government organizations that will have access to a year of your internet history, but not those of the MPs that voted for this draconian law:
– Metropolitan Police Service
– City of London Police
– Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
– Police Service of Scotland
– Police Service of Northern Ireland
– British Transport Police
– Ministry of Defence Police
– Royal Navy Police
– Royal Military Police
– Royal Air Force Police
– Security Service
– Secret Intelligence Service
– GCHQ
– Ministry of Defence
– Department of Health
– Home Office
– Ministry of Justice
– National Crime Agency
– HM Revenue & Customs
– Department for Transport
– Department for Work and Pensions
– NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
– Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
– Competition and Markets Authority
– Criminal Cases Review Commission
– Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
– Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland
– Department of Justice in Northern Ireland
– Financial Conduct Authority
– Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
– Food Standards Agency
– Food Standards Scotland
– Gambling Commission
– Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
– Health and Safety Executive
– Independent Police Complaints Commissioner
– Information Commissioner
– NHS Business Services Authority
– Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
– Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
– Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services
Organisation
– Office of Communications
– Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
– Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
– Scottish Ambulance Service Board
– Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
– Serious Fraud Office
– Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust

Meanwhile, another draconian internet law has also passed in the UK, the Digital Economy Bill has recently passed through the House of Commons and is barreling on its way towards its own royal assent. Staying anonymous online in the UK is harder than ever. Check out Comparitech’s guide on staying anonymous online. Of course, a logless VPN is key.

About Caleb Chen

Caleb Chen is a digital currency and privacy advocate who believes we must #KeepOurNetFree, preferably through decentralization. Caleb holds a Master’s in Digital Currency from the University of Nicosia as well as a Bachelor’s from the University of Virginia. He feels that the world is moving towards a better tomorrow, bit by bit by Bitcoin.


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9 Comments

  1. nostrafarious

    What else would you expect from some grizzled old prune who represents the remnants of the feudal system.

    12 months ago
    Reply
    1. Stepa Clide

      She doesn’t get a say, she just has to sign everything the parliament throws at her or she’s out of her job. Basically like the president, except with lot less lower.

      9 months ago
      Reply
      1. Stepa Clide

        I am from Australia. It’s similar here, except we have someone called a “Governor-General,” which is like the Queen’s representative. I kinda like it because it means that corrupt parties can’t just sign in whatever law they want like in the US.

        9 months ago
        Reply
        1. Stepa Clide

          So no, she isn’t a grizzled old prune. Americans have a grizzled old prune.

          9 months ago
          Reply
          1. Gayle Parker

            If you think that fuedal ancient British Parliamentary system will protect you better than the American Constitution, you’ve been drinking the sweetened koolaid ha!

            4 months ago
  2. Justin Case

    This is absolutely classified as a surveillance state. I am ashamed there is not more backlash against this injustice, and find it incumbent that this Act is either removed or more rights are given to the people to balance such a huge Act. I firmly believe that this will create more violations than it will solutions. This is too much power for one government to have over its people. Anyone trying to speak up could be identified and dealt with immediately now that this Act exists. Soon enough VPNs will be ban by ISPs and the only true private way to communicate will be Mesh Networks, which will be deemed illegal and frowned upon such as tor is now. All governments worldwide are slowly tightening their grip and it’s scary to think that one body of people can have so much power over others. I hope something is done soon before this gets out of hand.

    8 months ago
    Reply
  3. Tom

    This is truly another nail in the coffin of GOD given personal Liberty.

    5 months ago
    Reply
  4. Gayle Parker

    Does that mean Canada is next? Orwellian 1984!

    4 months ago
    Reply
  5. Gayle Parker

    Free speech and privacy are essential for the advancement of humanity. We are headed back to the dark ages in a fast train! 🙁

    4 months ago
    Reply