Privacy: Clear history


From now on, the 'Private Browsing' and 'Clear History' buttons on your internet browser are redundant. Under a new EU regulation, every email sent and every website visited by people in Britain are to be stored by internet service providers for use by the state. Britain was instrumental in pushing through this regulation, under the guise of 'anti-terrorism' action. But if past 'anti-terrorism' laws are anything to go by, it won't catch any terrorists, but it will be used by the police to criminalize ordinary people.

In the face of public outrage, the Home Secretary has already had to back down from her plans to log every email, phone call and website visit on a Home Office database. But now of course it's happening through stealth by way of EU regulation. This is a massive assault on liberty. Already, if you are arrested – and we can now be arrested for any offence, however minor – the police routinely confiscate your computer and go on a fishing trip to see what they can find. Now they don't have to: they can simply demand your past email and browsing history off your internet provider.

This will inevitably lead to blackmail and abuse – as in the case of the teacher who was arrested and put on the sex offender's register because he had accessed a website that merely had links to child porn – links that he did not access. Rather than take the matter to court, he accepted a caution. So he lost his job for not looking at child porn! Other people have faced charges because they were quietly following an innocent link when some porn site popped up on them. And remember that with the European Arrest Warrant, you can be extradited from the UK to any EU country – Greece, for example, where you can be held for months or even years without trial while your case is 'investigated'. From this week, we really do have a police officer looking over our shoulder – able to examine every email we send and every site we access – and throw us into jail if they don't like the sound of what you're writing or the look of what you're viewing!