UK web surfers have caught a grim glimpse of the future with Internet users being threatened with 10 years in jail for “illegal downloading” after a prominent music file-sharing site was shut down shortly after Britain signed the notorious ACTA bill.
It is the first time such a move has been made against Internet users in the UK. The British government introduced regulations in 2009 enabling Internet providers to track users who downloaded illegal content from the web and disable their connection if warning letters had no effect. But signing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has brought the conflict to a whole new level.
The government has expanded its plans to store and monitor Twitter, Facebook and other personal web communication data, but these are being created without official ISP involvement, according to an ISP representative body.
Under the plans, police and intelligence operatives will gain access to records of who has talked to whom on social networks, on instant messaging services, and in online multi-player games. The monitoring and storage are expected to be handled by ISPs, but the government’s plans have not been officially shared with these companies, according to the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA).
Broadband providers and phone networks are to reveal to authorities your every phone call, text message, email and private social network message. New anti-terror laws could force phone networks and broadband providers to store our digital communications in databases open to security services to check up on us — and if that doesn’t worry you, just wait until the hackers get their hands on it.
The Communications Capabilities Development Plan sets out the new scheme, as suggested by MI5, MI6, and GCHQ. The government won’t store the data itself, instead requiring Internet service providers and phone networks such as BT, Sky, and O2 to store the information for a year.
I am personally one of the top 100 or so posters to Reddit. Specifically, I have submitted many stories written by other authors on other websites, and have more than 150,000 “karma” points.
As such, I am saddened to see Reddit go the way of Digg and other sites which have been ruined by censorship.
New information about Facebook’s outsourced moderation process shows that the social network shares more personal information with moderators than it has so far acknowledged.
Turning the tables on Big Brother: Now internet users can watch who is spying on them in blow against Google’s new snooping policy
Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, has unveiled a new add-on for the popular web browser that gives web users an instant view of which companies are ‘watching’ them as they browse.
The Collusion add-on will allow users to ‘pull back the curtain’ on web advertising firms and other third parties that track people’s online movements, says Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs.