Beyond the dark arts of GCHQ an increasing number of government agencies and statutory authorities have been gifted with data-matching and communication data-gathering mechanisms via existing legislation (including RIPA). Now, there looms the Investigatory Powers bill, otherwise known as the ‘Snoopers’ Charter’, which is currently going through Parliament. But behind all this, sits a burgeoning industry that specialises in finding out everything that’s legally possible to be known about almost everyone in the UK – and then selling that information on.

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