Protect Yourself From the ‘Snoopers Charter’
The Investigatory Powers Bill, or ‘Snoopers Charter’ has been called the most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy.
In the near future, every website visited my every UK citizen will be logged and stored for a period of one year by the ISP. The Government will be able to access this information to see most of your online history.
The bill seems vague and ill thought out, and reflects the Government’s complete and ongoing lack of understanding of how the Internet works and how vulnerable this system will be to abuse from the Government itself as well as from outside hackers. In the past few years we’ve seen hackers access users personal information from companies such as Sony, Yahoo, Linkedin and a very high-profile hack of personal information from Ashley Madison – a hook up site for married men and women.
No matter what your online activity looks like, it’s unlikely you want the Government to have access to your online history, and if this data was ever hacked and released it could potentially ruin lives. Its unclear if your ISP will have the resources available to protect your internet history from hackers.
There is no better time to purchase a subscription to a VPN service. A VPN encrypts and funnels internet traffic through a 3rd party – most VPN suppliers do not keep any logs on traffic, meaning that your data is safe and secure from Government logging.
One of the most popular VPN suppliers is Private Internet Access (PIA). For about £33 you can install software to encrypt and hide your traffic on upto 5 devices. You can funnel this traffic through data centers all over the world, keeping you totally secure. Find out more about how PIA works here.
To be clear, VPNs are totally legal and offer an extra layer of security for individuals and professionals. Not only does the service stop you being logged, it also keeps you safe from any security issues on public WiFi (in coffee shops or Hotels etc). The software works on desktop and mobile devices. It also can be used to unblock Geo-restricted content (but does not work for Netflix)