Form an orderly queue for snooping data

ITteamToday’s Daily Telegraph reports on the ‘rush’ from public bodies to gain access to the data collected under the Home Office’s Communications Data Bill.

According to information uncovered by Big Brother Watch, “Council staff, health and safety inspectors and even Royal Mail want to harness the Government’s proposed “Snoopers’ Charter” to monitor private emails, telephone records and internet use.”

As soon as the details of what websites we look at and who we communicate with online is stored, it’s a honey pot of information that every bureaucrat, hacker and rogue government is going to try and gain access to.

This is exactly what happened under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. The public are told the powers are essential for catching terrorists and then they find out the Health and Safety Executive have them. The fact that these organisations have been invited to make a business case for access suggests that the Home Office is more concerned about the cost than the massive privacy implications this plan entails.

This creep is an inevitable consequence of introducing a surveillance law that would pay private companies to monitor how their each and every one of their customers use the internet and who they talk to. We can only hope that as the true scale of what is being proposed becomes public knowledge people will make clear that it is not a law a civil society should be considering.”

Yesterday we outlined 15 reasons why the legislation was the wrong approach, while the Spectator highlighted the growing unease in Parliament about the plans.

As Dominic Raab MP told the Telegraph, ‘This scheme is Orwellian. Intrusive surveillance powers should be limited to pursuing terrorists, paedophiles and villains – not enabling jobsworth inspectors at the Health and Safety Executive or council busybodies from snooping into the private lives of ordinary citizens.”


The full list from our Freedom of Information Act request is:

“Public authorities were not expressly invited to apply for access to communications data. The names of those groups of public authorities who have provided further information about their requirement for ongoing access to communications data are listed below:

1. Ambulance Services
2. Department for Business, Skills and Innovation
3. Charity Commission
4. Civil Nuclear Constabulary
5. Criminal Cases Review Commission
6. Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
7. Department of Agriculture & Rural Development in Northern Ireland
8. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
9. Department Of Enterprise, Trade And Investment For Northern Ireland
10. Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland
11. Department of Health – Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
12. Department for Transport – Accident Investigation Branches and Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
13. Department for Work and Pensions (including in relation to functions formerly the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission)
14. Environment Agency
15. Financial Services Authority
16. Fire & Rescue Services
17. Food Standards Agency
18. Gambling Commission
19. Gangmasters Licensing Authority
20. Health and Safety Executive
21. Independent Police Complaints Commission
22. Information Commissioner
23. Local Authorities
24. Maritime and Coastguard Agency
25. Ministry of Justice (NOMS and Contracted Out Prisons)
26. NHS Services
27. NI Office (Prison Service)
28. The Office of Communications (Ofcom)
29. Office of Fair Trading
30. Pensions Regulator
31. Ports Police – including Dover and Liverpool
32. Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI)
33. Royal Mail
34. Serious Fraud Office
35. Scottish Environment Protection Agency
36. UK Border Agency – including Border Force


  1. david
    13th April 2013

    When the Regulation of Investigative Powers (RIPA) legislation was making its way through the Home Office, one senior civil servant now states he deleted one agency that requested access, the Milk Marketing Board – a bottle too far!

    • Guest
      15th April 2013

      I’m surprised Microsoft and Google haven’t thrown their hat into the ring as well as the YMCA. why not, you haven’t got something to hide have you? wink wink.

      • Guest
        15th April 2013

        They may still lower the bar to include everyday neighbours now explain why my nosy neighbour would want access? to fight terrorism?

        Government: Okay, we’ll do that

        General public: Oh Shit!

        • Anonymous
          17th April 2013

          Don’t give them ideas, the way they’re going we may just have our neighbours spying on us with RIPA-like powers.

          Offshore VPNs indeed.

  2. Big Bruva
    14th April 2013

    Surprised thethe credit reference agencies haven’t presented their “business case”; I bet they would just love access to this data too :-)

    • Anonymous
      17th April 2013

      Why don’t we include advertisers too, yeah what could possibly go wrong? nope we don’t use that argument we use the fundementally flawed argument instead of got something to hide?

      this country is the worst one outside of countries like China and Iran, and we have the gall to tell them to knock it off? fucking hypocrites of the highest order. Bring back treason and we’re do the lot of them against the wall.

  3. Snoopers Charter – Big Brother Watch | University of Wales, Newport: Information Security and Privacy
    14th April 2013

    […] //… […]

  4. usor
    14th April 2013

    perverts most of them

  5. billybloggs
    14th April 2013

    None of them should be within a million miles of our data, oh well proxies and all that…

  6. Harry Genery
    14th April 2013

    This is frightening I don’t do anything “bad” on the internet, but then I don’t write my thoughts in my diary for general perusal! This is going too far.

  7. DataBase
    14th April 2013

    Proxies are all fine and dandy… but are you really going to access your on-line banking through a proxy… I don’t think so. So HMRC/DWP will be able to see who you do on-line banking with, the really important stuff… of course you can still hide your “celebrity gossip” browsing behind a proxy.

    • Anonymous
      15th April 2013

      Using proxies for bank logins is perfectly fine if you’re using end to end SSL even if a little pointless (your bank still knows who you are!)

      Now, offshore banks in Switzerland is another matter.

  8. anon
    15th April 2013

    Another example showing that we no longer live in a democratic society. Frightening the way this country is going.

    • Anonymous
      15th April 2013

      They will be complaining next that everyone of interest has switched to using offshore VPNs and want to ban that too.

      This government, please won’t someone boot them out. Think of the children!

    • Rohini
      21st April 2013

      Going? It’s gone. Right down the crapper.

  9. Rob
    15th April 2013

    It is clearly vital that in the fight against global terrorism the Charity Commission should have access to communications between private citizens.

  10. ID in the News» Blog Archive » Town halls join rush to use the snoopers’ charter
    15th April 2013

    […] Big Brother watch blog posting gives the complete list divulged by the Home Office in response to an FOI […]

  11. “Snoopers’ Charter” being passed quietly in the UK | Global Elite
    16th April 2013

    […] Big Brother Watch […]

  12. LB
    20th April 2013

    Just wait – the cameras will be turned. Then the state and others are screwed.

    For example, phone call – we can save you money on your gas bill. Great, mines 600 a year sign me up. One year later, the bill for 800 quid arrives, you send back the cheque for 599.99, because a penny is a penny. With a recording they are screwed.

    HMRC – can I claim for X? Yes – one the web, with the recording / video – they are done.

    Police – kill someone on camera and don’t get a conviction – draw your own conclusion

    Police – film an attack and report it – no action – draw your own conclusion.

    Divorce – the editted (biased) 10 minutes film of my wife …

    Cameras and ubiquitous recording when we do it, screws the state.

    • TheOtherTurnipTaliban
      7th June 2013

      That’s why filming the police is illegal

      • LB
        7th June 2013

        yes. However what are they going to do when the film shows illegal behaviour.

        That’s why the law on filming the police is stupid. It just doesn’t work.

        Good policing – not a problem – its positive publicity.

        Bad – can’ t prosecute.

  13. Rohini
    21st April 2013

    Why worry about so many organisations snooping when facebook can do it all for you?
    It’s a one stop shop from what I can see, privacy is not a word they take seriously!

    • Guest
      21st April 2013

      So true, however Facebook is (still) voluntary for those who don’t have accounts, however the same cannot be said for the government, unless you’re thinking of migrating to more sensible shores?

  14. Stella H Howell
    21st April 2013

    I had a dream the other day
    A dream I actually do not like to say
    Though my instinct prompts me
    So I begin :
    A PDF file was sent to me
    Headed Global Disaster.

    Scare of pandemics frighten everyone
    People begged to be vaccinated
    RFID chips were implanted in the vaccination & food
    It transformed people into frantic lunatics
    Everyone tracked for all purchases ‘Must be done on line’
    RFID forced people ‘Must take all medication’ on time
    All Shops were closed
    Due to the manmade pandemic scare
    Goods delivered to your door
    Only to those with RFID – who dared
    I went to the newsagent
    A pound in my hand
    ‘No we cannot accept cash’ due to H9N1
    Only those with RFID chip can buy and sell
    No food could be bought with cash in one hand
    All must be chipped is the final d-e-m-a-n-d
    Gold too had no value
    I could now see the end
    Therefore, cheer and be merry
    Times are at their last
    How much worse can things get
    Before the final blast!!
    Nothing to fear
    Fear not any man
    Each and every person is a divine soul
    Focus on yourself from within
    Peace and not Pieces!

    • Anonymous
      21st April 2013

      Wheres this from? prisonplanet? man you sure sound paranoid.

  15. Rohini
    21st April 2013

    Sensible shores. Now there’s a thought. Let me know if you find some. Preferably one with fewer cctv. I recently stood at the main traffic crossing in my area waiting for lights to change and counted the amount of cameras within a fifteen metre range, I was disappointed just to find eleven.Why not make it a round dozen? As for facebook slowly but surely they are chipping away at the privacy of everyone. You say it’s still voluntary, I agree it is for the moment on a superficial level. It suits me to avoid it like the plague but how can I be certain that’s mutual when so many of the people I know are users? I am listed in their phones and online as their friend, sooner or sooner my avoidance tactics will be noticed, but for now I will continue to remind myself that resistance is Not futile.

    • Guest
      21st April 2013

      Almost ANY country is considered ‘sensible shores’ compared to the shit hole that we’ve become, it’s in the 2007 privacy international reports.

      As for Farcebook, they are a true friend tester, if they still upload your photos or details there, you simply tell them to fuck off out of your life.

      • Rohini
        21st April 2013

        Nah the friends know better, but I do get a tad pissed off seeing that logo everywhere. No doubt Zuckerberg is under the impression that we are all sheep and will follow his lead without question. Not that it matters to him if some of us choose not to use it, but it matters to me that everywhere I look it’s there like a bad rash.

        • Guest
          21st April 2013

          Well I’m hoping it goes the same way as MySpace and just burst like the oversized bubble it really is.

  16. Tim C
    23rd April 2013

    At last the public are starting to wake up to the Government con of putting everything down to terrorists just to get more power and control in this police state what are we 53ed or 54th state of America !!! ho sorry no one is suppose to know those who still bury their heads in the ground will wake up when the SS or Gestapo knock on the door in the middle of the night and they disapeare you know someone else did that now who was it um……. someone called Hitler ?? didn’t we fight a war to keep this free country or am I mistaken everyone laught when I said Hitler didn’t lose it just took him longer the win than he thought !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!