Database state: authorities could demand your data from any organisation under ‘Snoopers Charter’

The Investigatory Powers Bill has been introduced to parliament in an attempt by the Home Office to rush it through the Commons before the European referendum.

Contained within the Bill are new and broadly drafted powers that would enable police and intelligence to have general warrants to demand data from any organisation that stores it, and match, mine, share, and cross-reference it.

Guy Hebert General Secretary of NO2ID says

“These sweeping powers are in addition to the existing self-authorised powers over communications data for specific investigations already granted to a wide range of public bodies. General warrants could specify broad types of information and purposes, leaving the security forces free to demand any information from anyone about anyone as suits their mass surveillance brief. That’s so vague as to cover anything, from the computer network at your child’s school, to shopping records, details of phone downloads, messaging, or CCTV records”

NO2ID has long warned of a “database state” which this is an ambitious move towards. Specific uses of “Bulk personal data” warrants would not be individually authorised, but be executed under blanket approval of ministers and special commissioners of the general purpose.

James Baker Campaigns manager for NO2ID says:

“Personal data can be used to paint a detailed picture of your every move. Everything in our lives is now run through data, most of which we expect to stay private, or at least isolated. The Home Office proposes that it should be hoovered up ad lib by intelligence and police, without the least direct suspicion, and mined to reveal everyone’s secrets. This is a frightening power that is qualitatively different from anything that has gone before.”