Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Investigatory Powers Bill: Snooper's Charter 3.0

The argument that is needed, and the one that is not happening, concerns the routine collection of so-called “metadata”. That term is an immediate turnoff, making it sound as if what is being discussed is profoundly prosaic information about, say, how many megawatts somebody was using, which could be of no possible interest to anybody but a technician. In fact, it reveals not only who is talking to whom and when, but may also include – depending on the precise technology being used – browsing histories, search terms and conceivably even passwords. It is information of this sort that, the novelist John Lanchester argues, may sometimes reveal that “you’re gay” not only “before you tell your mum” but before you know yourself.

Guardian editorial.

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