Bethan McGrath | Contributing Writer | Friday, 25 November 2016

Here Are The Organisations That Will Soon Be Able To See Your Internet History

Here Are The Organisations That Will Soon Be Able To See Your Internet History

The Debrief: We’re definitely in a dystopian novel now

In more news which is actually a huge fucking deal but which has been overshadowed by the US election, all of our browsing history will soon be saved by internet companies. The Investigatory Powers Bill, passed on November 19th, means that data of the websites we visit and when can be requested by loads of official bodies, to do who knows what with.

The Home Office have said the change will help to combat terrorism, but if that’s the primary motivation, we’re not too sure why so many organisations have been granted access. I mean, the Gambling Commission? It seems far more likely they’re going to be looking at ways to target advertising to people who visit gambling websites than finding terrorists. 

Here’s a list of all of the organisations that will be able to access your browsing history before the end of the year;

  • Metropolitan police force
  • City of London police force
  • Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
  • Police Service of Scotland
  • Police Service of Northern Ireland
  • British Transport Police
  • Ministry of Defence Police
  • Royal Navy Police
  • Royal Military Police
  • Royal Air Force Police
  • Security Service
  • Secret Intelligence Service
  • GCHQ
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Department of Health
  • Home Office
  • Ministry of Justice
  • National Crime Agency
  • HM Revenue & Customs
  • Department for Transport
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
  • Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
  • Competition and Markets Authority
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission
  • Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
  • Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland
  • Department of Justice in Northern Ireland
  • Financial Conduct Authority
  • Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
  • Food Standards Agency
  • Food Standards Scotland
  • Gambling Commission
  • Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • Independent Police Complaints Commissioner
  • Information Commissioner
  • NHS Business Services Authority
  • Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
  • Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
  • Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation
  • Office of Communications
  • Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
  • Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
  • Scottish Ambulance Service Board
  • Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
  • Serious Fraud Office
  • Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust

That's an awful lot of people to see that you've been on Pornhub recently (don’t lie) or that you recently googled how to spell 'definitely' JUST TO CHECK, OK??

There are a million reasons why it’s important to retain our privacy – just read anything by George Orwell or Foucault. More recently however, clever tech people have warned that hackers will probably (definitely) manage to access the lists sometime in the future, and may lead to another Ashley Madison-style public shaming. Read more about how scary this bill is on and then go and cry for a bit. 

However, there are ways to bypass this governmental intrusion. VPN (virtual private network) services do some magical technology stuff to make it so internet providers can’t gather any coherent information on your browsing history. Although you’d probably look suspicious to the government for doing that...

Looks like we lose either way, then.

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Tags: WTF News, Politics, Tech