Recent reports indicate that the UK government is expanding a controversial surveillance technology that could potentially store the web histories of millions of individuals. The technology, which collects Internet Connection Records (ICRs), has been deemed a success by the police and could become a powerful surveillance tool if implemented nationally. The UK government passed the Investigatory Powers Act in 2016, which introduced sweeping reforms to the country’s surveillance and hacking powers, including the creation of ICRs.
ICRs may not contain every detail about your online activities, but they can still reveal substantial information. For instance, an ICR can indicate that a particular website was visited but not necessarily the specific pages viewed. Other information that can be included in an ICR are IP addresses, customer numbers, date and time of access, and the amount of data transferred.
WIRED reported the existence of the ICRs in 2021. At the time, little was known about the initial test. This update provides more details.
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