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Investigatory Powers Bill- Your personal data to be given out freely

Written by Thomas Mould on 05 November 2015

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Apple, in its latest iOS release has expressed the importance of the security of data to raise the company’s profile with enterprise users. Recently Apple has implemented a full encryption of its Apple Pay and other communications to and from their iPhones.

A new law in the UK might prevent companies including Apple, Google and social networking apps from refusing to decrypt devices when asked by authorities.

The concern for ministers in the UK is that end-to-end encryption could help criminals avoid surveillance in cases where only the sender and the receiver can see the contents of a message. Terrorists and criminals are increasingly using end-to-end encrypted devices and servers to protect communication.

The Investigatory Powers Bill, due to be unveiled on Wednesday, will also require Internet companies to retain the web browsing history of their customers for up to 12 months.

“The Government is clear we need to find a way to work with industry as technology develops to ensure that, with clear oversight and a robust legal framework, the police and intelligence agencies can access the content of communications of terrorists and criminals in order to resolve police investigations and prevent criminal acts,” a Home Office spokesman said.

“That means ensuring that companies themselves can access the content of communications on their networks when presented with a warrant, as many of them already do for their own business purposes, for example, to target advertising. These companies’ reputations rest on their ability to protect their users’ data.”

“As Prime Minister I would just say to people ‘please, let’s not have a situation where we give terrorists, criminals, child abductors, safe spaces to communicate,’” David Cameron added. “It’s not a safe space for them to communicate on a fixed line telephone or a mobile phone, we shouldn’t allow the Internet to be a safe space for them to communicate and do bad things.”

“I think it is absurd to suggest the police and the security services have a kind of casual desire to intrude on the privacy of the innocent,” former terrorism laws watchdog Lord Carlile said. “They have enough difficulty finding the guilty. No one has produced any evidence of casual curiosity on part of the security services.”

As usual there are two sides to every argument, many have called this the ‘snooping bill’ because despite the intention to catch terrorists and other criminals it allows for individual’s privacy rights to be affected. Secondly there is no mention of how and where the data will be stored. In the light of the latest data leak of Talk Talk, if this personal information is to be leaked it is catastrophic. Many people store their whole life of their phones and social media from photos to credit cards. It has to be accepted that in the 21st Century there is no such thing as privacy.

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