Sophos responds to the new Investigatory Powers Act


Since the Snowden revelations, it is not news to anyone that GCHQ and other government agencies are spying on UK citizens’ online activities.

Whatever you may feel about government snooping, it could be argued that all the Investigatory Powers Act has changed is to formalise what the UK government was already doing, and put more structure and control around it.

However, there is one huge issue that I and other technologists have complained about from the beginning of the consultative process, although the complaints have fallen on deaf ears. That is the ability for the government to force internet service providers (ISPs) and other tech companies to keep a year’s worth of records about ALL of our surfing habits – every UK citizen and resident.

The requirement is, in theory, for them to keep details of the pages we visit and other “communications data”, but not the “content” of those pages – although any technologist will tell you that the distinction between the two is becoming increasingly blurred. Either way, they will hold a vast amount of sensitive data about all of us – business and personal, like who you bank with, who your energy provider is, what email service you use, who Read more

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