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Home Secretary announces plans to introduce IP address matching powers

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | Leave a comment

When the Communications Data Bill was scrapped in 2013, one of the issues that appeared to have full political consensus was the ‘resolution of IP addresses’ – particularly where mobile phone operators may have millions of customers using just a few hundred IP addresses. In the simplest of terms, an IP address is the address you access the internet through (although ways of masking this are nothing new nor particularly technically challenging). The Home Secretary has announced her intention to …

Reaction to the Home Secretary’s Proposals to introduce IP address matching powers

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Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “It is perfectly reasonable that powers to provide the police with the ability to match an IP address to the person using that service is investigated. However, if such a power is required, then it should be subject to the widespread consultation and comprehensive scrutiny that has been sorely lacking to date with industry, civil society and the wider public when it comes to introducing new surveillance powers. “Before setting her sights …

Who’s watching your webcam?

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | 1 Comment

The Daily Mail has revealed that people could be being watched in their own homes or at work as hackers are targeting webcams and uploading the live footage to the internet. The warning comes from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is urging people to upgrade their passwords from the default setting. Very few people would leave their front doors unlocked, yet failing to password protect your devices carries the same risks to both their privacy and security. As the …

The Capability Gap

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Research and reports | Leave a comment

With the concept of a ‘capability gap’ in the acquisition of communications data being increasingly discussed, we have created a briefing on the key issues and definitions of the issue which can be viewed here (PDF). The purpose of the briefing is to demonstrate that using the concept as an argument for the introduction of mass communications data collection is fundamentally flawed and unhelpful to what is a serious debate. The key areas covered in the briefing are: The definition …

Reaction to ISP plans to introduce report buttons for extremist material

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Press Office | 2 Comments

Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Internet companies should absolutely do all that they can to help tackle extremism, including working directly with their customers. However, politicians and civil servants should not be the ones who decide what we can and can’t see online. “If content is to be blocked then it should be a court deciding that it is necessary and proportionate to do so. “The UK sets a standard when it comes to freedom of speech, …

New Report: Patient confidentiality broken 6 times a day

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home, Research and reports | 7 Comments

Our new report, NHS Data Breaches (PDF), highlights the  scale of data breaches in the NHS. The research reveals examples of medical data being lost, shared on social media, and inappropriately shared with third parties. The report shows that between 2011 to 2014, there have been at least 7,255 breaches. This is the equivalent to 6 breaches every day. Examples of the data breaches include: At least 50 instances of data being posted on social media At least 143 instances …

Reaction to comments made by the new head of GCHQ

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Press Office | 3 Comments

Reaction to a FT op-ed by the new head of GCHQ Robert Hannigan Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “It is wholly wrong to state that internet companies are failing to assist in investigations. “The Government and agencies have consistently failed to provide evidence that internet companies are being actively obstructive. “These companies have consistently proved through their own transparency reports that they help the intelligence agencies when it is appropriate for them to do so, which is …

Support the right for journalists to protect their sources

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | 3 Comments

Lord Strasburger, Big Brother Watch’s advisory council member, has tabled an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill which would stop the police from being able to access journalists’ phone records to identify their sources without permission from a judge. The amendment is to be debated on Tuesday, and we are calling on you to contact members of the House of Lords to ask them to lend it their support. You can find a directory of Lords here. Supporting the amendment, …

Off The Record: How the police use surveillance powers

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Research and reports | 4 Comments

Today we are publishing a reporthighlighting the true scale of police forces’ use of surveillance powers. The report comes at a time when the powers have faced serious criticism, following revelations that police have used them to access journalists’ phone records. The research focuses on the use of ‘directed surveillance’ contained in the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) by police forces; a form of covert surveillance conducted in places other than residential premises or private vehicles which is deemed to …

Reaction to the Justice Secretary’s remarks on social media prosecutions

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Press Office | 1 Comment

Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “The Justice Secretary should be focusing his efforts on incidents where real harm may be caused, not casting the net wider for anything that could be deemed offensive. “The Crown Prosecution Service and the police have completely failed to properly use the existing harassment law, which itself would address the actions of anyone who poses a serious threat. “The victims of serious abuse online, or indeed offline, do not need headline grabbing …

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