Jimmy Wales thumbs nose at Snooper's Charter

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has vowed to contravene attempts by the UK government to enforce a ‘Snooper’s Charter’ which would ask internet service providers to record each page visited by UK citizens.

In a joint committee meeting on the Draft Communications Bill Wales told MPs that he would not seek to comply with proposed rules to ensure that all data is stored by ISPs.  

Wales, who has a history of web activism involving stopping access to his site in protest at proposed SOPA legislation in the US, said that he would take measures to block attempts by ISPs to track data of Wikipedia readers.

In the committee meeting yesterday Wales said that he would not assist in the gathering of data.

“We don’t have servers in the UK,” Wales told MPs. “We would be highly disinclined to collect more data than we already do, which is very very little.”

Wales also warned that it would be “trivially easy” for sites to evade detection of its users by encrypting data.

“If we find that UK ISPs are mandated to keep track of every single page that you read at Wikipedia,” he said, “I am almost certain we immediately move to a default of encrypting all of the communications to the UK, so the local ISP would only be able to see that you are connecting to Wikipedia not what you reading.”

“It is something we would do, absolutely,” Wales insisted.

Under the proposed legislation, authorities such as GCHQ would be able to access data without a warrant to look up information on individuals.  The controversial bill has been dubbed the ‘Snooper’s Charter’ since it was put forward by Home Secretary Theresa May earlier this year.