Perhaps this will help. Remember yesterday when I wrote about the MI5's Andrew Parker assuring us that “MI5 is not about "browsing the lives" of the public? Here's what they do when they think no one's watching: The Intercept reports that the KARMA POLICE program aimed to record the website browsing habits of “every visible user on the Internet.” KARMA POLICE was designed to provide the government with “either (a) a web browsing profile for every visible user on the Internet, or (b) a user profile for every visible website on the Internet.” In other words, browsing the lives of the public was exactly what they were up to1.
KARMA POLICE started in 2007-2008 so this is a long standing program having nothing to do with ISIS or current terrorist problems. Their explicitly stated intent was to create the world's biggest surveillance engine. Read The Intercept's report about the extent of that surveillance and see if it doesn't make you want to grab a pitchfork and follow the torches.
There is a dark cloud on their horizon, though: encryption.
“The spread of encryption … threatens our ability to do effective target discovery/development,” says a top-secret report co-authored by an official from the British agency and an NSA employee in 2011.
“Pertinent metadata events will be locked within the encrypted channels and difficult, if not impossible, to prise out,” the report says, adding that the agencies were working on a plan that would “(hopefully) allow our Internet Exploitation strategy to prevail.”
Remember this the next time your government starts talking about children and kidnap victims as the reason they need to compromise encryption. Here from their own mouths is the real reason.
Strictly speaking, KARMA POLICE is a GCHQ program and GCHQ is a sister organization to MI5. Raise your hand if you think that makes Parker's statement any less dishonest.