As if people weren’t already paranoid or suspicious that their government could be tracking them or spying on it, it seems that over in the UK, the government has proposed a new bill that would make it official in which internet service providers are expected to keep records on their users, thus allowing them to hand over user-information to law enforcement agencies upon request.
The idea is to link internet protocol (IP) addresses to specific devices, like smartphones, laptops, tablets, and so on, in hopes that they will be able to identify who is using what and when. The goal is to combat terrorism threats and the growth of online child sexual exploitation, which while noble in concept, has led to civil liberties campaigners to compare it against an earlier bill that had been dubbed a “snoopers charter”.
However despite the concern, some groups have acknowledged that in principle, this bill is not actually a bad thing. According to Emma Carr, the director of Big Brother Watch, “We need to see what this legislation would look like. As a principle it’s not necessarily a bad thing.” However some security experts have questioned the proposal and have pointed out some of its flas.
Tom Gaffney of F-Secure has mentioned that this proposal will not work simply because users are able to mask their IP addresses and routing their traffic through alternate networks around the world. Of course not every criminal in the world knows how to do this, but presumably the ones that do will have an easier time evading the authorities. There is no doubt that this is a controversial bill, so we’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out during Home Secretary Theresa May’s speech which is expected to take place on Monday.
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