With online privacy coming under increasing attack, it’s no surprise that more and more activists, and privacy-conscious internet users, want to shield their internet activity from potential evesdroppers – be they state institutions or private companies. Along with free tools such as TOR and I2P, one of the most popular methods of avoiding online surveillance is signing-up to a commercial Virtual Private Network. Indeed, there is no shortage of VPN companies on the market, promising to give their customers security, anonymity and peace-of-mind while browsing. But, with the government seemingly waging war against online privacy, is it inevitable politicians will push for a ban?
Last year we rounded-up a selection of the most anti-online privacy politicians in the US, followed by a similar round-up focusing on the UK. Since then Edward Snowden’s PRISM revelations have had a huge impact on the political landscape and have revealed a broad church of politicians who have allied themselves with perhaps the most pervasive spying programme in history. So below we’ve rounded-up five US politicians who have chosen to back the NSA over the rights of the American people and who are definitely worth keeping an eye-on as we head into the new year.
It appears the EU Data Retention Directive will soon be scrapped. On Thursday, the European Court of Justice General, Pedro Cruz Villalon, said the highly controversial law contravenes the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. While the statement was not a ruling, the Court of Justice usually follows the opinion of Advocate Generals. But will implementing Villalon’s recommendations really free Europeans from mass surveillance?
The World Wide Web may have been created by a Brit but in the last 15 years the UK government has shown nothing but disdain for online liberties and online privacy. In fact, out of all western nations, we reckon the UK is probably the most draconian and heavy handed in its approach to managing and controlling its own citizens in the online space, and – unlike the US’ PRISM program – most of this has been done out in the open.
So here’s five reasons, in no particular order, demonstrating how rotten the UK government really is when it comes to web. Disagree with us? Think your country’s government has a worse record? Let us know in the comments below.