back to article Investigatory Powers Act signed into UK law by Queen

Queen Elizabeth II today signs off on Parliament's Investigatory Powers Act, officially making it law in the UK. Her Maj not only had the last word on the new legislation — aka the Snoopers' Charter — she had the first. She publicly announced what the law would be called during the official opening of Parliament after last …


  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    I bet the Queen's internet history won't be kept, nor that of other members of the Royal Family. I'm looking at you Prince Andrew...

    But that's none of my business.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      It'll all be kept. Making exceptions for a handful of people is easier in the client which queries the ISP databases than in each ISP.

      And then there'll be some Konami code in the client which removes the exceptions, because someone will want that.

      Perhaps everyone should change their name by deed poll to Prince Andrew.

      1. AliSnackbar
        Paris Hilton

        Andrew Saxe-Coburg-Gotha... too much of a mouthful..

        1. Aervac

          Vice Admiral Prince Andrew Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is even more of a mouthful

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            I'm wondering whether his feet were less of a handful. We should ask Sarah Fergusson...

          2. Mike Richards Silver badge

            Vice Admiral Prince Andrew Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Fellow of the Royal Society is positively indigestible,

          3. Neiljohnuk

            Just ask any of the smuff skate-bait...?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      we certainly wont see any job sites in the history of his pointless entitled daughters and ginger haired, toe sucking money dissolving agent, ex wife.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shouldn't that be Jackie Smith has finally got her snoopers charter?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      posting Anonymously?

      er. . .

  3. Unep Eurobats
    Black Helicopters

    The Watson (previously Watson-Davis) challenge

    "Hello, Davis? Davis...?"

    I'm sure there's a perfectly innocent explanation.

  4. Black Rat

    I'll get my coat...

    I've got an access point to crack

  5. Marc 25

    oh f*ck off you unelected, nosey, busybodying witch!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Is that Theresa May or Her Maj?

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      "oh f*ck off you unelected, nosey, busybodying witch!"

      Still just the current sock puppet for this law.

      It's the unelected senior spookocrats (just look for them the PPE graduates) that have always wanted and now got it.

  6. PassiveSmoking
    Big Brother

    What's that high pitched humming noise?

    It's George Orwell spinning in his grave.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: What's that high pitched humming noise?

      na the ludites in the next grave got to him

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's that high pitched humming noise?

        It's the spinning engines of Babbage!

        ...none of these dazed and sullen portraits matched the memory. "Is there any reason why you wouldn't have this man?"

        "Perhaps your man has no criminal record," Tobias said. "We could run the card again, to check against the general population. But that would take us weeks of Engine-spinning, and require a special clearance from the people upstairs."

        "Why so long, pray?"

        "Dr. Mallory, we have everyone in Britain in our records. Everyone who's ever applied for work, or paid taxes, or been arrested." Tobias was apologetic, painfully eager to help. "Is he a foreigner perhaps?"

        "I'm certain he was British, and a blackguard. He was armed and dangerous. But I simply don't see him here."

        "Perhaps it is a bad likeness, sir. Your criminal classes, they like to puff out their cheeks for criminal photography. Wads of cotton up their noses, and suchlike tricks. I'm sure he's there, sir."

        "I don't believe it. Is there another possibility?"

        Tobias sat down, defeated. "That's all we have, sir. Unless you want to change your description."

        "Might someone have removed his portrait?"

        Tobias looked shocked. "That would be tampering with official files, sir. A felony transportation-offense. I'm sure none of the clerks would have done such a thing." There was a heavy pause.

        "However?" Mallory urged.

        "Well, the files are sacrosanct, sir. It is what we're all about here, as you know. But there are certain highly placed officials, from outside the Bureau—men who serve the confidential safety of the realm. If you know the gents I mean."

        "I don't believe I do," Mallory said.

        "A very few gentlemen, in positions of great trust and discretion," Tobias said. He glanced at the other men in the room, and lowered his voice. "Perhaps you've heard of what they call 'the Special Cabinet'? Or the Special Bureau of the Bow Street police…?"

        "Anyone else?" Mallory said.

        "Well, the Royal Family, of course. We are servants of the Crown here, after all. If Albert himself were to command our Minister of Statistics…"

        "What about the Prime Minister? Lord Byron?"

        Tobias made no reply. His face had soured.

        "An idle question," Mallory said. "Forget I asked it. It's a scholar's habit, you see—when a topic interests me, I explore its specifics, even to the point of pedantry. But it has no relevance here." Mallory peered at the pictures again, with a show of close attention. "No doubt it is my own fault—the light here is not all it might be."

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: What's that high pitched humming noise?

          Where does that come from AC? It seems like a book I would very much like to read... :)

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: What's that high pitched humming noise?

            Isn't it William Gibson's "The Difference Engine"

            BTW, it's regrettably increasingly common for people to quote things they like without attribution. If you like it, please ... credit the author.

  7. djvrs


    Hope they enjoy the pr0n as much I do ;-)

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Here's the full list...

    Who can view my internet history?

    A list of who will have the power to access your internet connection records is set out in Schedule 4 of the Act. It’s longer than you might imagine:

    Metropolitan police force

    City of London police force

    Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996

    Police Service of Scotland

    Police Service of Northern Ireland

    British Transport Police

    Ministry of Defence Police

    Royal Navy Police

    Royal Military Police

    Royal Air Force Police

    Security Service

    Secret Intelligence Service


    Ministry of Defence

    Department of Health

    Home Office

    Ministry of Justice

    National Crime Agency

    HM Revenue & Customs

    Department for Transport

    Department for Work and Pensions

    NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services

    Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service

    Competition and Markets Authority

    Criminal Cases Review Commission

    Department for Communities in Northern Ireland

    Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland

    Department of Justice in Northern Ireland

    Financial Conduct Authority

    Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004

    Food Standards Agency

    Food Standards Scotland

    Gambling Commission

    Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority

    Health and Safety Executive

    Independent Police Complaints Commissioner

    Information Commissioner

    NHS Business Services Authority

    Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust

    Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board

    Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation

    Office of Communications

    Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

    Police Investigations and Review Commissioner

    Scottish Ambulance Service Board

    Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission

    Serious Fraud Office

    Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust

    No chance for anything to go wrong there.

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: Here's the full list...

      Food Standards Agency!

      wt absolute f!

      Now I'll calm down in case the Scottish Ambulance Service Board takes me away....

    2. Richard 120

      Re: Here's the full list...

      Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust?

      Why on earth should they have the right to look at anybodies browsing history (let alone mine...)?

      What's the justification? Do the Welsh ambulance services national health service trust need to check to make sure their customers haven't caught a computer virus?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Here's the full list...

        In case anyone was wondering, the Office of Communications is Ofcom.

        Perhaps someone else can answer why they need to access your internet history, because I can't even begin to imagine why.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Here's the full list...

        so what's going to happen :

        The NHS will know your browsing and purchase history, then know you smoke, drink too much alcohol and eat too much junk food. ( or well have suspicions )

        Then when you go to see Dr Donald Duck, your local NHS GP, he might say

        "Well Mr X, I can see you've been a very bad boy, and now treatments are rationed on lifestyle I'm afraid you a well and truly b*****ed "

        its the future, and I guess we all know this is how it could turn out ...

        1. F0rdPrefect

          Re: Here's the full list...

          "The NHS will know your browsing and purchase history, then know you smoke, drink too much alcohol and eat too much junk food. ( or well have suspicions )"

          Always knew I was right to do most of my shopping in cash!

          1. Haefen

            Only criminals use cash

            Use Cash in Canada and the government will consider that probable cause for further investigations. That was the reason given for removing the $1,000 dollar note from circulation and why cash deposits of $5,000 or more or cash deposits of large number of smaller denominations have to be reported. Using cash is a criminal activity.

    3. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Here's the full list...

      Holy ****!!!!

      So, we were sold on the premise that this was for investigating terrorism and serious crime. Yet NHS trusts, fire depts and the Food Standards Agencies are able to access them?!?!

      This is even worse than I thought!!

    4. Mutton Jeff

      Re: Here's the full list...

      Could be worse.

      At least the thugs at the 'Egg Marketing Board' are no longer privy to our browsing habits.

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: Here's the full list...

        I hear even the FSB quakes in fear of the methods used by the Visit Wales csmpaign - like making people visit Wales.

        1. moiety

          Re: Here's the full list...

          Don't forget to add Google to that list after the fucking NHS have sold them the data. And the NSA by extension.

    5. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Here's the full list...

      It would be useful to have a brief description of the hoops through which one of these many agencies must jump before gaining access to the stored data. That, along with who can grant access, might be a deal more important than who can request and receive the data.

      1. a_a

        Re: Here's the full list...

        Careful now, sensible talk like that has no place on Internet forums:

        Also states that local authorities will never have access.

        Although I'm completley opposed to this and have been wondering if my UK based VPS provider will be required to keep records; and if I can buy a DrayTek Vigor and route all my traffic over an IPSEC tunnel to the VPS.....

        1. Paul

          Re: Here's the full list...

          I've never used a Draytek vigor, apart from the simplest DSL bridges, which didn't leave me angry at their crapness.

    6. Bob Vistakin
      Big Brother

      Re: Here's the full list...

      And when the tories have fully privatised the NHS it will be the health insurance companies who'll be using it to cherry-pick the most profitable citizens, and vastly inflate or even refuse those who they deem to be not so profitable.

      1. I J Ellis

        Re: Here's the full list...

        I'd guess 'NHS Business Services Authority' would be happy to share.

  9. Timmy B Silver badge

    I wonder.....

    ... if enough people run a script on boot pings a load of "select" sites and then a whole load of random ip addresses that this'll just make the law pointless? Just a thought....

    1. staringatclouds

      Re: I wonder.....

      All these references will be stored at your ISP & you'll pay for the storage, so the more you generate, the more you pay.

      Plus it will soak up your data allowance, not everyone has an unlimited connection

      Plus anyone searching your ICR log can search through a couple of gigabytes with a laptop in minutes the random entries won't help

      1. Doc Ock

        Re: I wonder.....

        Vote Liberal Democrat, I know but it's the least worst at the moment.

        1. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

          Re: I wonder.....

          AS long as they don't need to kiss Corbyn's, Farage's or May's arse to get a seat at the table they might not sell us all out.

          It's hardly a sparkling prsopect is it...

        2. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: I wonder.....

          Already vote Lib-Dem - I live in Yeovil and until loads of people went mental and voted in the pathologically silent and useless Fysh it was the only way.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: I wonder.....

      That's great until the plod break down your door because your script accidentally connected to a server hosting child porn.

      Of course, you know you're innocent, but your lawyer will tell you that although you could try and fight it in court, it'll take years, and loads of cash, and everyone will still think you're a kiddie fiddler anyway, so the safest thing to do is plead guilty.

      1. kyndair

        Re: I wonder.....

        well, I'm sure the FBI will let plod know as they host about have of the kiddy fiddling sites out there, the met and city of london probably only have about a third poor souls.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder.....

      now there's an idea. A slight variant ... a script that randomly puts some characters or even words into Google, get a few search results from several pages. Just does a curl of some of them with randomised timing , run it via cron a plausible times. The ISPs search history would just be full of random poo poo.

  10. staringatclouds

    My comments from 5 months ago

    And before that

    It seems no one listens

    As soon as the ICR logs are up and running you can no longer trust any site you visit not to contaminate it with dodgy references, your only solutions are to use VPN's or Tor to bypass the ICR and these have their own drawbacks

    The internet was designed to survive nuclear strikes, Theresa May just destroyed it with a pen

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      As usual, laws like this tend to suffer from the "Law of Unintended Consequences": secure messaging encryption, TOR proxies and VPNs are now commodified so that anyone who has something they want to hide from the state can easily do so and, more importantly, it's better hidden than used to be possible.

      The government can collect all the fucking data it wants; it'll do them little good. But I worry a lot about what happens after the inevitable data breaches: criminals now have extremely good reasons to try and get hold of this stuff and the government have conveniently offered to put all the data in one place.

      1. staringatclouds

        Bad guys getting hold of the log is one thing, but it's too easy to plant evidence in your ICR log without your knowledge, all it takes is a couple of lines of JavaScript inserted into a legitimate 3rd party script and content from any site in the world can be downloaded to your PC and be logged in your ICR without your knowledge and no antivirus or antimalware in the world can stop it.


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