Login FormClose

Free ESA, PIP and DLA Updates

With over 140,000 subscribers our fortnightly updates bulletin is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Get the facts about what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare.   Get your free benefits updates now.

Professional Members

We support both claimants and professionals.  These are just some of the organisations who have subscribed to Benefits and Work:

  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Spinal Injuries Association
  • Chesterfield Law Centre
  • Coventry Mind
  • Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Colchester Borough Council Welfare Rights

Read more

DWP to have access to claimants internet history

The Investigatory Powers Bill, which is about to become law with virtually no opposition from MPs, gives a huge range of agencies, including the DWP, the right to see an individual’s entire internet browsing history.

Senior Executive Officers in Fraud and Error Services at the DWP will be able to see a list of every website claimants have visited in the past year, although the details will not include the individual pages that claimants have visited on a particular website.

Other agencies granted access to internet histories include:

  • Department for Transport
  • Department of Health
  • HMRC
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ofcom

 

Comments  

+1 #21 Asbo 2016-12-08 16:17
Quoting tinytim:
I know this is slightly off topic but i heard the bank of england saying that 15m jobs are going to be lost over the comming years due to robots in the workplace.
That means bad news for disabled and able bodied and i heard that govs overseas are talking about a living wage paid to everybody and those who can find a job will top up wage.
There saying that there will be those that will not be able to ever find work so there will be just this one automatic wage paid to all citizons.
Seems that some countries have finally cottoned on that there will ne millions unemployed and disabled and it will be cheaper to have just one auto wage for everyone thats enough to live on.
I do not think this gov in uk at this time would like this they would rather start the work house again.
It does seem like common sense to me as the private companies running the dwp assessments costs far outway any savings and it was said it would save the dwp millions just not doing any medicals and just taking the information you supply direct to dwp.


I definitely support Unconditional Basic Income tinytim...oth the Citizens Income as it is also called. it has been Green Party policy for decades but many countries in Europe are in favour and there's a growing wave of support for it. You can find pages about it on Facebook. There was also a debate on it at the beginning of this month at the University of Birmingham. As you say with the very real prospect of no full employment again it is the only thing that makes sense. Of course there would still have to be means-tested benefits for e.g. disability and housing elements but at least people would still have a basic income with which to buy the necessities in life ie. warmth, shelter and food.
+2 #20 tinytim 2016-12-08 12:30
I know this is slightly off topic but i heard the bank of england saying that 15m jobs are going to be lost over the comming years due to robots in the workplace.
That means bad news for disabled and able bodied and i heard that govs overseas are talking about a living wage paid to everybody and those who can find a job will top up wage.
There saying that there will be those that will not be able to ever find work so there will be just this one automatic wage paid to all citizons.
Seems that some countries have finally cottoned on that there will ne millions unemployed and disabled and it will be cheaper to have just one auto wage for everyone thats enough to live on.
I do not think this gov in uk at this time would like this they would rather start the work house again.
It does seem like common sense to me as the private companies running the dwp assessments costs far outway any savings and it was said it would save the dwp millions just not doing any medicals and just taking the information you supply direct to dwp.
+1 #19 Asbo 2016-12-07 22:58
Quoting Susan:
I am horified that the inevitability of use of internet use and history of individuals by the government give rise to the real sinister intentions of the current government to intrude on normal law abiding citizens freedom and actions. The face that I can use the keyboard, type for a short period of time, can think, strive to manage my disability, does not give anyone the right to assume that just those actions have consequences for my pain management and disability. I know that in the past government actions have been abused this in my opinion is abuse of public services and position. Lines have to be drawn and the privacy of individuals upheald.


Susan, you can argue that PIP, in any case, wasn't created for disabled people not to have a social life. Social media is a lifeline for many disabled people in the absence of going out in person. The Daily Activities Component is meant to include having a social life, seeing family and friends etc. So if you can't see them in person very often or at all but need to keep in touch online and you have used your PIP to buy a computer/tablet /phone for that very purpose I don't think they would have a leg to stand on legally. They will try it on but under the Equality Act it would be discriminatory surely to deny a disabled person a social life, even if that is online.
#18 Asbo 2016-12-07 22:53
[quote name="survival71

Yes they will be able to see all websites and email servers visited (not contents of emails), through your Internet Service Provider or Mobile Phone internet accounts.

It's worth reading how using a VPN service can help protect privacy:

https://thatoneprivacysite.net/vpn-comparison-chart/

Some VPN's offer free service option such as 'CyberGhost' and 'Hotspot Shield' but free service tend to be slower or unreliable. Cyberghost useful to try out IP addresses in several countries.

Also the free Tor Browser. However using online banking, financial transactions, Facebook, they sometimes treated it's IP addresses as rogue even though it isn't: https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en

And Orfox (browser) and Orbot (VPN), which need to be used together on Android devices:
https://guardianproject.info/apps/orbot/

https://guardianproject.info/2015/06/30/orfox-aspiring-to-bring-tor-browser-to-android/

The best VPN services charge monthly / annual fees and allow use on multiple devices. A VPN based in a territory outside of the '4 eyes, 5 eyes and 14 eyes nations' will be harder for governments or authorities to demand data from it, which they sometimes do using a gagging order without users being told. Also if you find a VPN offering IPv6 leak protection and First Party DNS server leak protection, it will be less likely information will leak to Internet Service Provider logs and harder for snooping eyes to see online activity in real time.


Thanks - useful information there, Survival. What about simple private browsing which some browsers offer (or used to)? Any good?
+2 #17 steven 2016-12-07 20:56
how can they prove you have a pc or laptop or mobile phone??.....
#16 survival71 2016-12-07 20:00
Quoting bubblegum:
I'm on a dating website, would they be able to see that? I'm going to contact my broadband company to see if they'll be able to see that? I feel very, very disturbed about this!!


Yes they will be able to see all websites and email servers visited (not contents of emails), through your Internet Service Provider or Mobile Phone internet accounts.

It's worth reading how using a VPN service can help protect privacy:

https://thatoneprivacysite.net/vpn-comparison-chart/

Some VPN's offer free service option such as 'CyberGhost' and 'Hotspot Shield' but free service tend to be slower or unreliable. Cyberghost useful to try out IP addresses in several countries.

Also the free Tor Browser. However using online banking, financial transactions, Facebook, they sometimes treated it's IP addresses as rogue even though it isn't: https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en

And Orfox (browser) and Orbot (VPN), which need to be used together on Android devices:
https://guardianproject.info/apps/orbot/

https://guardianproject.info/2015/06/30/orfox-aspiring-to-bring-tor-browser-to-android/

The best VPN services charge monthly / annual fees and allow use on multiple devices. A VPN based in a territory outside of the '4 eyes, 5 eyes and 14 eyes nations' will be harder for governments or authorities to demand data from it, which they sometimes do using a gagging order without users being told. Also if you find a VPN offering IPv6 leak protection and First Party DNS server leak protection, it will be less likely information will leak to Internet Service Provider logs and harder for snooping eyes to see online activity in real time.
#15 Asbo 2016-12-07 17:16
What if you have several accounts? How will they know which is yours?

What if you are just logged in to e.g. Facebook but are not actually on it? I often do this. I might have only been on it for a few minutes and then the Computer will go into sleep....but as far as the records are concerned they couldn't tell whether I was active on there for 24 hours or a few minutes...it is absurd
+2 #14 Susan 2016-12-07 16:11
I am horified that the inevitability of use of internet use and history of individuals by the government give rise to the real sinister intentions of the current government to intrude on normal law abiding citizens freedom and actions. The face that I can use the keyboard, type for a short period of time, can think, strive to manage my disability, does not give anyone the right to assume that just those actions have consequences for my pain management and disability. I know that in the past government actions have been abused this in my opinion is abuse of public services and position. Lines have to be drawn and the privacy of individuals upheald.
+1 #13 carruthers 2016-12-07 14:08
Quoting tinytim:
How can they prove if its a family or friend or even your home help like mine sometimes uses your pc.

I'm afraid on one level the answer is, they won't care. We've seen time and again that when they should need "good evidence", they are quite happy to go on "vague suspicion". And doing it when the technicalities are more difficult to understand will make it even easier for them to spread confusion.

On a more helpful level, you might find that they would look at the time of day when there was "suspicious" internet access. If someone is spending an hour online when the rest of the household should be at work or at school, then the only remaining person in the household could get "fingered".

Then they can look at the sites accessed at a given time. If you have a teenage son and throughout the evening someone is hogging the internet connection to link to an online gaming site, then you might be considered free from suspicion. If they can see that there are Facebook posts from your student daughter and the logs show that someone was on and off Facebook all Sunday afternoon, then again you might be cleared.

But for me there is another problem. If they see that there are long and carefully argued posts to Benefits and Work under a name they could trace to me and posted at lunchtime, they might reasonably assume that it was me. And then they might start assuming that I could work in a call centre, if I can be that coherent. (Regardless of when and how often etc .. all the usual intermittent stuff)

Still, people who need to contact B&W for help with their claims will still be able to do so. Even the DWP can't really say that's evidence of being able to do too much typing.
+1 #12 Sandra 2016-12-07 12:49
Does anyone know why they want this access? What are they looking for? Obviously it is to do with finding (yet another)excuse to deprive us of our disability allowances - but I can't think what that may be.
Does anyone here know?
#11 tinytim 2016-12-07 11:07
How can they prove if its a family or friend or even your home help like mine sometimes uses your pc.
#10 carruthers 2016-12-07 10:33
Quote:
I buy reconditioned PCs so how do they know what my browsing history is and what is the previous owners?.
On a technical level, where you get your PC from is irrelevant. What they snoop on is the account which you use for accessing the internet.

Think of it as being like a telephone - they can keep track of the calls that are made using your telephone line, regardless of where you bought your handset. With the internet that's nearly always your broadband or cable account with Sky or BT etc.

What other members of your household do might be a concern and you should bear that in mind.
+1 #9 bubblegum 2016-12-07 10:29
I'm on a dating website, would they be able to see that? I'm going to contact my broadband company to see if they'll be able to see that? I feel very, very disturbed about this!!
+2 #8 survival71 2016-12-06 04:23
No wonder it's been nik named the Snoopers Charter. But a VPN service would conceal that information. Many internet users already use a VPN as it can help protect from ID theft and fraud. All that shows up on the ISP records is the VPN server. A VPN service based in a territory outside of the '5 eyes, 9 eyes and 14 eyes nations' adds sgreater privacy protection from governments demanding VPN data access
+1 #7 Elisa 2016-12-05 20:14
Quoting Camly91:
Quoting Elisa:
I was asked if I was on any social forums at my PIP F2F but they are not going to start requesting your history from an internet provider,unless, they have suspicions


Personally I find it sinister that they ask about whether you're on any forums at a PIP f2f, what business is it of theirs what forums you're on or what you say there?


Accessing the internet using a computer or smart device shows dexterity and clarity of thought. It allows them to make assumptions in the same way as they make assumptions about walking, driving, shopping, even eating. Unless you state you are unable to do something and have evidence, mostly medical to back that 'defence' up, they can revert to assumptions. In the same way if you have obviously swollen/arthrit ic fingers and a diagnosis of a disease they will not expect you to carry out the tasks, they follow an assumption that supports what you are saying. Well that is the way it should work. That is why it matters not what you say on your form but what you can prove in the F2F that supports your reasoning and evidence in the form. It's why following the B&W guides to the letter is so important and restricting yourself only to what is asked that ties in with your application and medical evidence. Above all make sure whoever is with you can identify when you need to expand with an explanation. Sadly they make assumptions, we can't assume they have read anything, understood anything or linked our problems to anything.
#6 Camly91 2016-12-05 19:46
Quoting Elisa:
I was asked if I was on any social forums at my PIP F2F but they are not going to start requesting your history from an internet provider,unless, they have suspicions


Personally I find it sinister that they ask about whether you're on any forums at a PIP f2f, what business is it of theirs what forums you're on or what you say there?
#5 Elisa 2016-12-05 18:30
I think it's no reason to worry, apart from the civil rights issues. They will be requesting access from your internet provider, hence my earlier post about shared access. I was asked if I was on any social forums at my PIP F2F but they are not going to start requesting your history from an internet provider,unless , they have suspicions and some evidence of wrong doing to start with. Internet providers are still only required to keep your history for 1 year.

I have not looked properly yet but doubt they can take away your your laptop etc to have a good old nosy unless they get the police to do it. :-)
+1 #4 Camly91 2016-12-05 15:25
I wonder does anyone know exactly what this means in terms of will they know how long one spends on a certain site or how often? or just that you have 'been there' within the last year?
Will they know how long my computer is hooked up to netflix for example? I ask because I usually use watching boring shows on netflix to get to sleep... so i have the laptop on in bed & drift off within 30 mins but often i drop off before turning the computer off so it ends up running until the battery runs flat...
i'm scared they might say that i spend hours every day watching tv.... (& hence am capable of work) because i dont! And am not.
#3 article 2016-12-05 13:54
I buy reconditioned PCs so how do they know what my browsing historyis and what is the previous owners?.
#2 Elisa 2016-12-05 12:29
Well that could have a few issues with data protection. In our house we all share the same login???? How will they work that one I wonder.

You need to be logged in to comment