UK rushes in new DRIP and RIPA laws

UK rushes in new DRIP and RIPA laws

So the European Court of Justice has ruled that the original RIPA act brought in by the then Labour UK government in 2009 is in fact illegal. The act essentially demands that all Internet service providers (ISPs) and communication companies are required to hold customer data for 12 months. This in real terms means all emails, phone calls, text messages, and web browsing logs. The excuse of course is the new law was to help fight terrorism and other crimes and to "keep us safe".

So, now that the laws are essentially deemed as illegal we are all safe from snooping? Not quite, in a panic the UK P.M. David Cameron has secured backing of the three main parties to rush through a new set of snooping laws that - they think - circumvent the European ruling deeming it as an emergency. There is a slight bonus with a full review being required in 2016, however two years is a long time to wait.

The original UK legislation was based on a European directive, the one that is now seen as illegal, however the UK government says that this does not affect the new DRIP and RIPA acts as it is at a national level. There are also new sections that say foreign companies must comply with the legislation, but it is not clear how this would be enforced. Most privacy groups see the new acts as being illegal.

What to do?

In reality nothing much has changed, storing your data in the UK and using the communications infrastructure will open your data up to snooping in some shape or form, so make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your data from prying eyes.

Look at storing your data in a jurisdiction with stronger privacy laws, configure your email to use PGP encryption, use services like tor, or a good VPN to secure communications. These are a few of the things you should be doing if you take your privacy seriously.