Using the Internet Against You

How the ‘Snooper’s Charter’ is the most invasive surveillance method we don’t care about

Research has shown that more than three quarters of people in the UK are unaware that the recent Investigatory Powers Act has been passed, despite the effects it may have on their human rights.

The survey, conducted by serious and corporate crime defence specialists, Rahman Ravelli, also revealed that there was a lack of awareness not only across the board, but particularly for young people. 81% of 18 – 24 year olds were shown to have no concept of the changes.

The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 has serious and far-reaching implications on human rights in the UK, so much so that it has been dubbed the ‘Snooper’s Charter’. Not only does it strengthen measures that had existed before, it extends its reach to communications companies who must now hand over customer data to UK intelligence agencies.

It also provides better and more sophisticated technology to hack into computer systems, devices and shared networks. Given its seriousness and the overwhelming lack of awareness, the UK public, particularly millennials, need to be more informed about their ‘digital footprint’. Commenting is Aziz Rahman, Senior Partner at Rahman Ravelli:

“The authorities now have near-unlimited sanction to access your browsing history, online habits and more – all without any evidence of wrongdoing.

“You would think that such a breach of privacy would be a point of concern for people, but instead the act was passed with minimal complaint. It shows a real lack of awareness that needs to be addressed.”

Where millennials are concerned, they are vulnerable enough as it is. According to fraud prevention service Cifas, the last year saw a 34% rise in under-21s falling victim to fraud crime as a result of poor security measures.

Elsewhere, a Go Compare survey found that 86% of 18-24 year olds inadvertently share personal data on social media, which can then be used against them. From weak passwords (pets’ names were the

most popular) to lax financial habits, young people are already leaving themselves open.

Mr. Rahman had a little more to say on the subject:

“Young people are at danger from either side now – they are vulnerable to hackers as well as the UK intelligence agencies. Because they have grown up with the internet, they have possibly become complacent.

“It all starts with resources, and information. Being aware of what the Investigatory Powers Act means for your human rights is the first step. Protect yourself, and take care what you post online.”

Rahman Ravelli has published an extensive guide on the Investigatory Powers Act, which explains what it means for human rights and breaks down the different kinds of surveillance methods used in the UK.

You can see the guide here.

Author: Dylan Jones

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