Wave goodbye to anonymous Web surfing

Whilst a lot of peeps use anonymous Web surfing services for accessing the Web whilst hiding their identity, it looks like the days when you can do this really anonymously are numbered, largely thanks to the kind folks in Brussels.

According to a number of newswire posts over the weekend, the EU wants to impose Directive 2006/24/EC on UK telcos and ISPs, which is basically a regime which requires them to retain phone and Internet access records for a yet-to-be-specified period.

Andy Ferguson over on the Think Broadband portal says that the final phase of the consultation period on the directive runs out at the end of this year, at which stage the EU is expected to pass a full set of
laws on comms records.

The good news is that the content of punter's emails won't be recorded, but the fact that an IP channel opened and closed - whether for surfing or email - will.

The aim of the directive is to ensure that this data is "available for a minimum of 12 months to assist in the investigation, detection and prosecution of serious crime".

The problem - as I see it - will come because the directive makes no requirement for a court order to be obtained. Government bodies, right down to local councils - will be able to gain access to the record as a routine right, when investigating any misdemeanours.

Whilst it's easy to get more than a bit emotive about these Big Brother-style rules, I find that the fact that the EU and the UK government is doing jack to assure the public that there won't be a free-for-all is worrying.

Or am I just being paranoid?...