“Many a true word is spoken is jest,” and a campaign from British civil rights group Liberty uses a comedy video campaign to highlight concerns it has over the UK’s new Investigatory Powers Act, which as been dubbed the snooper’s charter.
It is not the first time comedy has been used to make people aware of potential privacy issues.
News satire organisation The Onion has highlighted pitfalls of sharing personal information on Facebook.
UK’s ‘snoopers’ charter’
The UK’s new mass surveillance law, the Investigatory Powers Act, is aimed at reinforcing the fight against organised crime and terrorism.
police and intelligence services unprecedented powers for snooping on the population’s communications data.
As well as to a long list of public services ranging from the Food Standards Agency to the National Health Services, and the Department for Work and Pensions.
The UK has just legalised the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy.
It goes farther than many autocracies.
Https://t.co/yvmv8CoHrj— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) November 17, 2016
“Our communications data, who we email, who we call, who we text and when, and all of our internet activity can be accessed for non serious crime purposes,” Silkie Carlo, Policy Officer, Liberty, told Euronews.
“There isn’t even the need to identify the targets of surveillance powers.
So police and intelligence agencies can hack a computer or hack thousands of computers, without needing to identify who the targets are.
In addition, they don’t have to notify the targets of surveillance after the conduct has taken place.
Which means that there will be thousands of people that have been affected by surveillance, that might have had their private lives intruded on, their phones hacked, their calls intercepted, that don’t know about it and that never will.”
Sitting down with the #IPBill https://t.co/nEuxaYw0Ah pic.twitter.com/AwR4WVOMPl— Andrews & Arnold Ltd (@aaisp) December 6, 2016
Among the most controversial measures, phone operators and internet service providers (ISPs) may be required to retain the browsing history of all users for a year, and make the data available to the police, security services and official agencies.
Powers deemed excessive in December by the European Court of Justice, which condemned the universal and indiscriminate retention of data.
A ruling that could force the British government to amend the law, until the UK leaves the EU.
Keeping people safe
David Anderson, the independent reviewer of UK anti-terror legislation, assessed the usefulness of bulk collection powers.
He admits safeguards to ensure privacy can be improved, but says universal data retention can help keep people safe.
“Every power that the police and the intelligence services use or want to use in this country, is now set out very clearly in black and white,” said Anderson.
“That hadn’t been true before, and it’s not true in most countries in the