Last week the Houses of Parliament in the UK passed the “Investigatory Powers Bill” better known as the “Snoopers Charter” which means new spying laws came into effect on Tuesday, the bill forces your Internet Service Providers (ISP) (BT, Sky, Virgin or TalkTalk) to keep a record of your internet connection records (ICRs) for one year. At the request of the Government the ISP will have to make them available if asked without a warrant.

Buy VPNThis bill was mainly pass on the merit of the governments attempt find terrorists something which the Government often uses when trying to push through a controversal bill, however, the ICRs will be available to a wide range of government bodies including but not limited to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

With bodies such as the FSA it’s no wonder that people say the Snoopers Charter is an invasion of privacy, The Government will access to communications data including who the user is, when they accessed and where they accessed it from, the Government will also be targeting interception of electronic communications by using bulk collection of data on every citizen which first came to light in the revelations by former CIA operator Edward Snowden, The UK Government will also have the ability to mount IT attacks also known as equipment interference.

The Government has also laid out its desires under former Prime Minister David Cameron to ban Encryption or force companies to insert “Back doors” into their software which most UK citizens feel that as they do no wrong they have nothing to hide, however, a door can be accessed from both sides and if the UK Government can access it through one way, Hackers from dissident countries will most certainly be able to access it leaving the whole country open to targeted attacks rendering our country useless which is what the “Snoopers Charter” is supposidly trying to stop.

For those who are interested in protecting their privacy not only from the Government but also would be hackers it is highly recommended people start using VPN’s (Virtual Private Networks), there are plenty free ones out there however most of these hold a lot of your personal data which they will turn over to the Government, there are a few paid ones that hold less personal data so when summoned to hand over the information will be able to hand very little over one of these we recommend is PIA. Android users can download PIA here and iOS users here.

Users should also use messaging services that offer end to end encryption so that their communications are safe Signal is an extremely good one which is available on both Android and iOS. Finally Encryption Software is recommended to ensure maximum security users can find a review of some software encryption here.

A full list of the agencies that can access your information under the Snoopers charter without a warrant can be found below:

Let us know in the comments below if this concerns you and if you currently use or will be using software mentioned above to protect your privacy.