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ISPreview Survey Finds Most UK Readers Oppose Internet Snooping Law

Monday, Jun 25th, 2012 (7:54 am) - Score 385

The results from 1107 respondents to our latest monthly survey has revealed that the majority (72.8%) of UK readers are opposed to government plans that would expand existing internet snooping laws and log a much bigger slice of your online activity (e.g. Skype access etc.); regardless of whether or not you ever committed a crime.

The existing Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and EU Data Retention Directive already require ISPs to maintain a basic log of their customers internet website and email accesses (times, dates and IP addresses) for 12 months, although the new law would go a lot further (Summary of the Communications Data Bill) and internet users clearly have some big concerns.

Should UK police have access to ISP logs of your email and web use (not content)?
Yes (Only via Warrant) – 49.3%
No – 48.2%
Yes (Unfettered) – 2.3%

Do you support plans to extend these logs to social sites (Facebook) and Skype etc.?
No – 72.8%
Yes – 27.1%

Do you know how to use an encrypted VPN or Proxy Server?
Yes – 62.7%
No – 37.2%

What is your biggest concern about such logs?
Abuse of my privacy – 63.5%
Criminals can avoid it – 17.3%
Security of the database – 12.5%
Too costly (GBP1.8bn) – 3.6%
I have no concerns – 2.9%

The UK government’s £1.8bn scheme to expand its controversial internet snooping law does have some merit. Internet crime remains a huge problem, as does terrorism, although clearly this needs to be balanced against the legitimate concerns of innocent internet users.

Broadband providers also face huge costs to introduce the system, which risks pushing up the price of broadband for everybody. Meanwhile the true criminals already have the tools to circumnavigate these rules and will continue to go undetected. The huge new ISP-managed databases could also become tempting targets for hackers.

This month’s new survey asks whether or not you are familiar with the ASA’s new broadband ISP advertising rules and you still finding related advertising to be misleading? Vote Here.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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