If you’re a fellow UK citizen who doesn’t want others watch every step you take on your devices, then it is in your best self-interest to keep on reading. There is a major issue I’m about to explain which might have flown right under your radar due to being overshadowed by other problems in popular media, despite solid evidence pointing towards it. Nobody can fault you for that, because Brexit and all the terror attacks have taken your attention.
On 29th November 2016, overshadowed by Brexit, the “Investigatory Powers Bill” received royal assent and has become officially law. Appropriately, the UN’s privacy chief said it is “worse than scary”, while famous US whistle-blower Edward Snowden called it “The most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy”. From then on, UK ISPs have to save your browsing history for up to one year, while the UK government has unrestricted access to all that data, no warrants required.
Furthermore, obfuscated by the nice name “Equipment Interference”, they’re now legally allowed to hack private devices of individuals, and even in bulk. However, unlike the before mentioned unrestricted access, these actions (officially) require a warrant from both the Secretary of State and a panel of judges.
Of course, your government claims that they’re treating all those information respectfully. But do they? Leaks of internal memos have shown staff abusing their powers by using bulk datasets for things like finding addresses to send birthday cards, and checking details of family members for personal convenience.
If their threshold for abusing their powers is so low, who knows what they’ll do when bribed or pressured? Of course, that’s just speculation, but certainly not without reason.
Considering from which software you’re coming from, you could potentially get yourself into big trouble if you don’t fix this issue. Even if what you’re doing is perfectly legal, your entire internet usage could be used against you in many ways that you wouldn’t even think of yet.
If you have nothing to hide, then there’s nothing to fear! At least so goes the saying from people in support of the Investigatory Powers Bill. That’s unless a shady police officer decides to sell your data for personal gain, or similar misconduct revealed in the 137 page Report from Big Brother Watch. The breaches ranged in seriousness from losing files to tipping off suspects to selling data to third parties.
With 10 data breaches every week, I question the government decision to take even more of your privacy. Evidence paints a clear picture that they’re not trustworthy to handle such sensitive information, but as of now you’re basically handing them everything on a silver platter. Inaction in this case can be seen as an endorsement of their violation of your privacy.
Either, you do nothing. You close this page and accept the danger that comes with it. You consequently approve this ridiculous state of surveillance by telling them “Here’s everything private I do on the internet with all my devices at all times, you can have it and do whatever you want”. Sure, you might not suffer from it… for now. If you’re lucky enough, that is.
Or, you could take the wise decision and spend a few minutes to become part of the resistance, and give them the well-deserved middle finger by tightly securing all of your internet usage. As renowned experts in internet privacy and security, we know that the only way to truly secure your privacy from prying eyes is through a Virtual Private Network, or VPN.
Imagine a tunnel where everything you do online is send through, thus nobody – neither your ISP nor your government – can see anything within in. With our strict no-logs policy, we couldn’t provide them any information even if they asked us to. Everything gets encrypted with the highest 256-bit standard, so you’re also securing yourself from any unwanted hackers, such as your government using the “Equipment Interference” bill to snoop on your every move, or to secure public wifi’s when traveling.
Furthermore, you can easily switch countries to avoid any restrictions that might come with it. Want to watch Game of Thrones live, but can’t? Well, you could with a VPN. Setup is as easy as clicking a download button and the cost is less than a pizza. Heck, there’s even evidence that your download speed might increase by using a VPN, dependent on what you do.
It’s your choice. Become part of the resistance against the surveillance state, or be part of its endorsement.
Less than the cost of one small pizza in exchange for permanent privacy and security on all your devices plus a clear and legal protest against this injustice. You’re a savvy internet user, I trust you know what to do.