What does the public know about cybersecurity?
When the Powers of Inquiry Act received Royal Assent in November 2016, cybersecurity experts were torn on the outcome.
The new “Snooper Charter” gives British intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies the power to collect data and intercept online communications from British citizens.
The government maintains that this Big Brother approach will facilitate the investigation and could prevent acts of terrorism and other major crimes. However, privacy activists and online security experts have determined that the drastic provisions of the lettering of the law mean that the government now has the opportunity to spy on one of our activities at any time – Whether on the subject of suspicion or not.
Given the relative groan of opposition to the bill, we were wondering how publicly aware it is when it comes to all things online. We conducted a survey to learn about the public’s dominant attitudes toward the Snooper Charter, online privacy expectations and what they can do to help keep the Powers of Inquiry Act darkness.
The results show that there is a long way to go to educate the general public about the risks of losing our online privacy.
According to the results of our survey, less than one-quarter (24%) of respondents heard about the Powers of Inquiry Act – and seven in ten (70%) said they did not know that their online activity In progress Followed by government. It is a shock to think that this erosion of our online privacy could fly until then under the radar, but even more disconcerting is what people believe it gives authorities the power to do.
The Snooper Charter enables nearly 50 agencies and organizations in the UK to access records registered by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for a whole year. So, ISPs, like Sky and Virgin, are now legally obliged to monitor your history on the Internet – maybe longer than you did of your own choice.
Only 36% of the people we interviewed knew this.
31% believe that our mobile devices are also monitored – the government is able to monitor your phone calls and texts, and watch applications installed on your phone.
However, one-third (33%) of those interviewed do not believe that the government agencies in question have similar powers or jurisdictions despite the upcoming application of the Act.
And there is also no in-depth knowledge on who can exactly see your information. There are 48 different agencies, to be exact, that have access to all our online activities. Just over half of respondents know that police and intelligence will be aware of your documents, but fewer people suspect that HMRC (26%), the Department of Labor and Pensions (12%), and Even the Food Standards Agency (9%) can see what you get online.
We provided respondents with full details of the changes in the law and how these changes would affect our daily lives.
We were interested in finding that their information would be used to prevent potential terrorist activity, 63% of respondents would give consent to the government, and would have third party licensed to view and monitor all their online and digital activities.
We were also surprised that, without having been informed of this goal, more than two British adults (41%) would still allow it.
In the 18-24 age group, the consent gap is at its largest – 32% would give consent, but 68% would not. Then, strangely, in the 25-34s, the division is exactly 50/50 in favor and against the move. The return to N ° then occurs in each of the older age groups we studied.
The almost imperceptible gap in years 25 to 34 could be attributed to this age group of the so-called Millennials. Given their stronger understanding of old and emerging communications and media by the turn of the century, they can make their decisions using a wider range of sources online and offline. Other age groups may take their views in a narrower basin – mostly off-line in the elderly, or especially in the youth.
What worries us most about new governmental powers is the ability to capture our personal data, with 30% of respondents expressing concern for sensitive information because browsing histories and devices are no longer secure.
However, in spite of the most important concerns of people such as device piracy (30%) and tracking of browsers’ history (28%), phone calls and texts (28%), 43% Interviewed said they were not at all worried about what the government could look at.
Although there has been a tremendous backlash against the new draconian way of observing our online habits – not to mention the petition of 200,000 people and the ongoing preparations to face the courts – There is insufficient awareness of what the Powers of Inquiry Act has the right to do.
Those who are most strongly opposed to action can, for now, take steps to ensure that their privacy is protected online via Virtual Private Networks (VPN) or Tor Access.
But without the right to communicate online privately or securely, the Powers of Inquiry Act intends to change the course of our daily lives, whether we know it or not.