In a move sure to shock racist- and sexist-abuse hurling teenagers everywhere, the UK government has set out plans to monitor internet use in the UK. All UK communication companies, under the proposed legislation, will be obliged to keep records of all sites that users visited for at least a year. Categories that could be retained include information about social network usage, webmail, Skype calls, and gaming.
There's a rule that in any UK government that there's a hardline anti-fun person. Under the Labour party, it was David "iron fist" Blunkett. Ironically, posh shoe-loving Theresa May (not the much better-known porn star) is the current Home Secretary, whose job is basically to see how far he or she can restrict other people's pleasure. Both liberals and conservatives are against this move, given its intrusiveness. For example, the relatively-well-respected Tory MP David Davis has described the bill as "incredibly intrusive" and said it would only "catch the innocent and incompetent."
Apparently, since the police are concerned that criminals use online gaming sites to communicate with each other, they think that keeping data on what connections and websites individuals been access will enable them to somehow establish what these naughty types are up to. Even though they say they won't be able to access any of the content, unless they get a warrant from a Judge.
Steven Coates, Deputy Director of the ominously-acronymed SOCA (Serious and Organised Crime Agency) told the BBC; "We don't have the technology, we don't have the time and frankly we don't have the inclination to go trawling for masses and masses of data on innocent people." So, we have to ask, what's the point of the legislation?
Wannabe thieves, here's our top tip; play Payday: the Heist whilst plotting and if you get caught, claim you were just roleplaying. And if the police have managed to get a search warrant and are reading; we're only joking!