To paraphrase a Bob Dylan song, the times, they are a-scarying! Not only did Donald Trump win the US elections, which could have a major impact on global online privacy issues, but Great Britain and Russia are making efforts to catch up by rubber-stamping new surveillance laws. Here is the most important news of the week on the online privacy front, in a nutshell:
Privacy-invasive law gets the green light in the UK
The Draft Communications Data Bill, a.k.a the “Snooper’s Charter”, was introduced by then-home secretary Theresa May in 2012, and took two attempts to get passed into law following breakdowns in the previous coalition government.
With May as prime minister, on Wednesday, November 16, the bill was finalized and passed by the Parliament.
The law will force internet providers to record every internet customer’s top-level web history in real-time for up to a year, which can be accessed by numerous government departments. On top of this and more worryingly, the law gives intelligence agencies the power to citizens’ computers and devices.
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Russia to start blocking LinkedIn after court ruling
Russia’s communications regulator ordered public access to LinkedIn’s website to be blocked on Thursday to comply with a court ruling that found the social networking firm guilty of violating a data storage law.
LinkedIn will be blocked in Russia within 24 hours. One Internet service provider, Rostelcom, said it had already blocked access, according to Reuters.
LinkedIn, which has its headquarters in the United States, is the first major social network to be blocked by Russian authorities, setting a precedent for the way foreign Internet firms operate. It has over 6 million registered users in Russia.