Police request powers to view browser history of every internet user in Britain

Senior officers in the UK Police force have lobbied the government to revive measures seen in the “snooper’s charter” ahead of the forthcoming legislation surrounding surveillance powers.

The Police have asked for the ability to view the internet browsing history of every computer user in Britain. This would force telecommunications companies to hold on to personal data for up to 12 months, and would allow the Police to see all websites visited by the customer. The call for more powers surrounding internet activity has come as the scale of activity carried out online has meant that traditional methods of surveillance have become outdated meaning investigations were becoming more difficult to carry out. The assistant chief constable at Gloucestershire police, Berry, said “Five years ago, [a suspect] could have physically walked into a bank and carried out a transaction. We could have put a surveillance team on that but now, most of it is done online. We just want to know about the visit.” “We want to police by consent, and we want to ensure that privacy safeguards are in place. “But we need to balance this with the needs of the vulnerable and the victims.” However he did admit that it would be “far too intrusive” for officers to access this data without additional safeguards, such as the requirement for a judicial warrant. The previous proposed communications data bill, dubbed as the “snooper’s charter” was blocked by the Liberal Democrats due to privacy concerns, but the forthcoming investigatory powers bill could revive the measures. The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with dispute resolution solicitors in Guildford and across the country.