This November, the UK will mark the one-year anniversary since Investigatory Powers Act was passed. During this year, the bill has received widespread criticism for its intrusive techniques of extreme surveillance. Now, UK intelligence agencies will face claims in the European court of human rights for intercepting private communications in bulk.
“We’ve expressed our concerns from the beginning that an over-intrusive surveillance will backfire,” said Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN, a technology company. “Currently, numerous civil rights groups are suing the UK government for illegally retaining and examining data that belongs to various foreign organizations. No entity should be allowed to legally intercept data that belongs to a foreign company or organization. We see this as the most intrusive violation of privacy and freedom of speech. There is also a great concern that other governments may follow UK’s lead, and people will start slowly losing any freedom of expression around the world.”
Bulk interception programmes used by the UK government – such as Tempora, Upstream and Prism – enable government agencies to access and store a backup of the Internet activity entering and leaving the UK through fiber optic cables.
“One of the biggest issues is that the UK government is storing huge amounts of private and sensitive foreign communications data,” said Marty P. Kamden. “This data can be accessed and exposed by hackers and misused for any purpose, including identity theft. Overall, we are glad to see that the British people are taking matters into their own hands – NordVPN subscriptions have tripled in the UK in one year. A VPN allows people to share information online privately and securely.”
NordVPN launched very user-friendly apps in the past year that are easy to set up and use even for beginners. Users just need to turn the ON button, and they’re connected, and all their online traffic becomes encrypted.
A VPN encrypts user’s data and reroutes it through a secure tunnel before accessing the Internet – this protects any sensitive information about one’s location by hiding their IP address.
Other ways to secure online safety include strong passwords, cautious online sharing (such as one’s current location or address) and the use of encrypted email (like ProtonMail) and encrypted communications apps (such as Telegram).