Seeking Theresa May’s Web Browsing History

Theresa May is set to become the next Prime Minister of the ironically-named United Kingdom on Wednesday, after David Cameron’s resignation. Under the Investigatory Powers Bill, proposed by May last year and passed earlier this year, the web browsing history of all Britons will be available to law enforcement without a warrant for up to a year.

So, back when this was announced in November, the Independent asked to see Theresa May’s browsing history. Jon Stone quotes their predictable denial of the request:

“We have decided that your request is vexatious because it places an unreasonable burden on the department, because it has adopted a scattergun approach and seems solely designed for the purpose of ‘fishing’ for information without any idea of what might be revealed.”

I wonder if the Home Office realizes that they’ve provided the perfect opposing argument to the bill in question. “Scattergun”, “vexatious”, and burdensome are precise descriptors of mass surveillance and intelligence-gathering activities.