The Government Wants to Charge Us £25m a Year to Take Away Our Privacy

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Home Secretary Theresa May has unveiled the draft Investigatory Powers bill, which outlines exactly how much of our communications spies and police officers will be able to listen in on. As suspected, the government will force Internet and phone companies to store the records of the sites visited by every UK citizen for 12 months, allowing the man to see exactly what we've been getting up to.

That essentially means that nothing you do will ever be private. Officials won’t simply be able to grab our data whenever they want to, but will first have to obtain a warrant from both Theresa May and a specially-appointed judge. However, if David Cameron doesn’t want some of his colleagues to be spied on, he can simply call rank.

If MI5, GCHQ or the police reckon you're up to no good, they'll quickly and effortlessly be able to hack into your phone and computer, checking up on everything you've been up to, eavesdropping on your conversations and even taking control of your device.

"The task of law enforcement and the security and intelligence agencies has become vastly more demanding in the digital age," said May, whose proposals have been largely met with approval from fellow MPs. "It cannot be right that today the police could find an abducted child if the suspects were using mobile phones to co-ordinate their crime, but if they were using social media or communications apps then they would be out of reach. Such an approach defies all logic and ignores the realities of today's digital age."

A joint committee will analyse this draft bill, with a final version set to be published in spring next year. The new measures will cost the public around £25 million a year. You can read the entire bill here.