A draft of the Investigatory Power Bill has been in the news this last week, viewed by many as a resurrection of the shelved Communications Data Bill – more commonly known as the Snooper’s Charter.
The area of the bill that’s caused the most media fuss are powers to log your internet browsing history. The government want to know the websites you’ve visited “up to the first ‘/’ of its [url], but not a detailed record of all web pages that a user has accessed“.
What this “weblog” means is they’ll know you’ve visited the Invoco website (www.invoco.net/) but not read this blog article (www.invoco.net/blog/the-investigatory-power-bill-and-your-telephone-calls).
There’s no mention of logging your telephone calls in the draft bill as it’s already required by law as part of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act. Telecommunication providers, Invoco included, are required to store your call records for a minimum of one year. That doesn’t mean we keep an actual voice recording of your call but just some basic details, what’s known in the industry as a Call Detail Record (CDR).
This CDR contains information such as the date/time of the call, the number you dialled and the call duration.
You could compare the CDR with the newly proposed weblog. The actual content of the communication is not known, just some basic metadata. If you think of it in these terms then the logging of your internet history is on a par with what’s already required for your telephone history. Is this something for us to worry about? I don’t think so…
Posted on: 16th November 2015