Are people really ignorant of Theresa May’s plans to snoop on them?

Theresa May has made concessions on the investigatory powers bill [Image: PA].
Theresa May has made concessions on the investigatory powers bill [Image: PA].

It seems incredible, but a new poll reported in the Guardian suggests that nearly three-quarters of the UK population don’t understand the extent of the Conservative Party’s plan to spy on them.

For clarity, Theresa May’s Investigatory Powers Bill – if it becomes an Act of Parliament – would compel telecoms companies and internet service providers to store every person’s communications data, including records of calls, texts, emails and their entire internet browsing history for a year. This data could be used by dozens of public bodies.

Critics say the government can only justify monitoring your emails, texts, phone calls and online browsing history if you are suspected of criminality or have committed a crime.

This Writer agrees with Bella Sankey, director of policy for Liberty, who is quoted as saying the legislation would create a detailed profile on each of us which could be made available to hundreds of organisations to speculatively trawl and analyse – ending online privacy, putting our personal security at risk and swamping law enforcement organisations with swathes of useless information.

Why are you letting the Tories get away with it?

Britons could be sleepwalking into a new era of state surveillance powers, judging by a new poll conducted by the civil rights organisation Liberty.

Before a Commons battle over the investigatory powers bill this week, the poll found that 92% of respondents who were aware of the proposals – described as a “snooper’s charter” by critics – disapproved of them. But 72% of respondents said that they knew nothing about it.

The two-day Commons report stage of the bill, which will increase the powers of the intelligence services, is scheduled for tomorrow and Tuesday and is the final major piece of parliamentary business before the EU referendum is held.

On Thursday the home secretary, Theresa May, announced a series of concessions in an attempt to woo Labour and Liberal Democrat critics, whose alliance with backbench Tory opponents mean the government cannot rely on its slim Commons majority. May’s fresh safeguards include the introduction of a “privacy clause” meant to ensure that the new mass-surveillance powers are not authorised in cases where other, less intrusive, means could be used.

Source: Snooper’s charter: Most Britons unaware of Tory plans, survey finds | Technology | The Guardian

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10 Thoughts to “Are people really ignorant of Theresa May’s plans to snoop on them?”

  1. Dez

    The State has now crossed the line into a fully paid up dictatorship. If this goes ahead they will own us completely. How many extra civil servants and goons have been recruited to intrusively manage this enormous amount of personal data. What was the point of the millions wasted on enacting the Data Protection Acts when this Nazi branch of this Government is slowly wiping our democracy and freedom of speech away. Yes of course bring in the terrorist wild card excuse however they are already and have been spying for ever and just need this legislation to legalise their establish and widen their covert operations. This is a worrying blanket bombing move of a police state and needs to be squashed before their genie is out of their champagne bottle. Hopefully not all Cons are brainless and that Labour et al will turn this over where it belongs….unless, of course, they also like this idea of population control.

  2. Neilth

    I’m so unsurprised it’s tragic. The amount to attention the average person in this country pays to what the government is doing etc is negligent in the extreme.

    Unless they are told directly by the tabloid press that they should be outraged they ignore everything.

    Out canvassing yesterday for remain I got a couple of ‘what referendum?’ responses and when I reminded them they said ‘oh we never vote we’re not interested in that sort of thing”. I sometimes despair.

    1. Dez

      I guess the fact that the tame press and media are on board with the Cons. they will be remaining silent on the real facts and impact of this legislation on the public.
      However one would have hoped those representing the voting public would have enough integrity about them to know when something is obviously out of order and vote against it…….fat chance with this bunch of yes persons..

  3. Understanding politics is not innate, it is learnt and I think that we woefully misunderstand how much that is suppressed in this country. As a community and youth worker I found that politics was not just misunderstood or of marginal interest, it was not even on the radar in the vast majority of young people I worked with.

    I have thought for some time that I’d like to see a straw poll of those who are politically aware to discover how that came about, where they learnt it and who or what encouraged their political engagement.

    I rather think that blaming people for not being politically aware (which happens a lot and is implicit in ugly terms like ‘sheeple’) is rather like blaming the poor for poverty and we need a different and much more positive dialogue about it.

  4. Jane Owens

    Well worth signing up for email updates from openrights.org. I wonder how many folk are aware that their mobile telephone provider can track their movements? It is inbuilt into every mobile telephone, easy enough to opt-out, if one knows how. Openrights have long been campaigning against government legislated intrusion of private citizens.

  5. Brian

    How are these proposals justified?; because a way to predict and prevent acts of terrorism & extremism are needed. Why, because there is no effective control of our borders and a continuing stasis state is alienating its citizens to commit extremist acts. The answer, make the state more stasis. result, you guessed it.

  6. Thomas

    What can an ordinary person do about it?

  7. Harry

    This vid might help Mike:

    http://www.zengardner.com/welcome-uk-stasi-state/

    And: How an American writer sees our predicament: Literally the failure of accountability:-

    http://journal-neo.org/2016/06/03/british-overload-a-nation-drowning-in-lies/

    The Video above was made in collaboration with the UK Column, whose director Brian Gerrish is an ex Royal Navy Commander. He is seriously concerned at the state of Britain under what can only be described as fascist government/Corporate control. People need to wake up very quickly indeed.

    This post represents my own views alone.

  8. James

    This is kind of surveillance is so easy to get around it’s insulting. The general way to do this is by obfuscation or encrypted tunneling using a virtual private network. To obfuscate download the free Tor browser, which reroutes the packets you receive so that their origin is impossible to determine. As for a virtual private network, well, you can pay to use one or use a free one, the anti-virus firm Avira has got one for Windows that gives you 500 MB a month free, or, use the Opera browser which will soon offer a free unlimited VPN to users funded by adverts. (The developer edition of Opera already does this.) There are other options. But, really, anybody who wants to avoid being surveiled on the web will be able to do so very easily.

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