It’s happening. Despite how outrageously heavy-handed it sounds, it looks like web companies will, by law, have to provide our unencrypted data to the police and Secret Service whenever it’s requested. The revised Investigatory Powers Bill will be unveiled on Wednesday, and declares it illegal for companies such as Google, Apple and Facebook to keep our browsing histories, messages and pictures private.
They’ll be forced to keep records of our online communications for up to 12 months, and hand it over to authorities when they ask for it. Through a warrant, spies and officers will be able to see the websites and apps people have used. David Cameron, who not so long ago wanted to impose a ridiculous outright ban on encryption, still needs to push the extreme new proposals through parliament, though he’s adamant that he's doing the right thing.
"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,’” he said on ITV’s This Morning show. "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."' [Telegraph]
Image credit: Stephen Melkisethian