UK councils could record all web usage

Is this safe? Not in the future...
Is this safe? Not in the future...

Plans by the government to allow UK councils and other public bodies to record web footage have been labelled as a 'snooper's charter' by the Lib Dems and Tories.

The government wants to bring the UK in line with other EU states by forcing ISPs to store all web usage data for 12 months.

Although this won't be detailed enough to see the contents of private emails, the charter will allow viewing of the time and dates of communications between people – though this is designed to identify and track terror targets.

Most ISPs already voluntarily store this info – worrying enough in itself – but would be forced to do so under the ruling.

Home office tool

A Home Office spokesman told the BBC: "This data is a vital tool to investigations and intelligence gathering in support of national security and crime.

"Communications data allows investigators to identify suspects, examine their contacts, establish relationships between conspirators and place them in a specific location at a certain time."

But the best quote of the day has to come from the Lib Dems, who see a bandwagon and just HAVE to jump on:

"We will be told it is for use in combating terrorism and organised crime but if Ripa (the Act allowing such data to be recorded) powers are anything to go by, it will soon be used to spy on ordinary people's kids, pets and bins."

We're fine with the kids being watched, but for God's sake, leave the dog and the bin out of it, will you? HAVEN'T THEY SUFFERED ENOUGH?

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.