The creepy extent to which folk at GCHQ have been monitoring and spying on all web users has been revealed in leaked documents on operation ‘Karma Police’. The documents published by The Intercept demonstrate that the UK government’s listening service GCHQ was building a “web browsing profile for every visible user on the internet”.
James Baker NO2ID Campaigns Manager said:
“Sensitive meta data can be used to build up a profile of the websites you visit. If you’ve ever sought marriage guidance, googled medical conditions or viewed pornography then chances are this programme will have used that information to build up a profile about you.
“This is out of control surveillance which demonstrates that ,more than ever, we need independent judicial oversight of government surveillance powers.”
These surveillance powers are a typical example of a database state, which is the term we use to describe the tendency of governments to control society by monitoring people. We must have proper judicial oversight, separate from government, to authorize the use of these powers. When parliament comes to debate new surveillance powers it will need to put additional safeguards in place.