A new law has been implemented in the UK that gives the UK state the powers to monitor citizens through surveillance.
The changes have provided the state, police and spies new ways in which private communications can be gathered along with other types of data in order to deal with terrorism, crime and other threats to the country.
The new rules
The new legislation was brought in to deal with the old legislation that was out of date.
The old laws used to permit agencies to collect two different types of information. This included communications data and the content of the data. The laws were complicated and were surrounded by a number of acts that made it extremely confusing, especially for those who were outside of the intelligence agencies. In fact, much of the public were unaware of how MI5 had permission to take large chunks of data from the internet and analyse it, although it was permitted under legislation that was put in place before the World Wide Web was added to the mix.
Therefore, the new laws came with new powers that gave communication firms such as mobile phone and broadband providers the ability to retain twelve months worth of communication data. This will include details of any services that are used by the public as well as websites and data sources that may be used when individuals go online. This is known as an Internet Connection Record. It will record what services are used but it will not record what was done with each service.
What this means
Essentially, the police and other authorities will have the ability to obtain records of individuals that date back a year should they have a lead on a suspect. This will enable them to create an image of their online presence and the services that they use. This is an improvement on previous laws because it was not possible to access historical information because there was no legal obligation for companies to keep it. This meant that a number of leads were lost because the data was not available to them.
There are other powers that come with the new law because it encompasses other investigatory powers that relate to intrusion, private lives and communication.
It is now possible to intercept and read communications once approval has been gained from the Home Secretary. You can also interfere with computers; this includes hacking in order to retrieve information or for reasons in relation to other investigations. It is also a legal obligation for companies to assist in those instances where hacking operations take place. Finally, there is also the ability to gather large amounts of internet or phone data that will be sifted through in order to identify criminal patterns.
In a world where technology is the main driver behind many crimes, it makes perfect sense for the UK government to introduce new legislation that is designed to assist in tackling criminal activity and terrorism.
Able Investigations makes sure we are compliant with all UK surveillance legislation. For more information on debtor tracing or to find out how Able Investigations can help you, call our hugely experienced bailiffs in Bristol on 0345 366 0000.