Stop Searching for Weird Porn! The Police's Surveillance Demands are Far Scarier than Ghost Stories

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Police want the government to allow them to access the browsing history of everyone in the UK. The force reckons it should be compulsory for telecommunications companies to keep hold of users’ Internet activities for 12 months, enabling investigators to see every single thing we’ve read or watched online.

According to senior officers, traditional forms of surveillance aren’t good enough anymore, as so many criminal activities are now carried out online. The request comes just hours after the head of the MI5 pleaded for more advanced tools for snooping on online communications.

“We essentially need the ‘who, where, when and what’ of any communication – who initiated it, where were they and when did it happened,” said Richard Berry, the National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman for data communications, who isn’t demanding at all. “And a little bit of the ‘what’, were they on Facebook, or a banking site, or an illegal child-abuse image-sharing website?”

The news comes shortly before the government is expected to unveil landmark legislation covering surveillance in the digital era. I imagine a lot of people up and down the country are bricking it. [Guardian]

Image credit: Open University via Flickr