A YouTube video showing a supposed social experiment with a very public toilet is exposing the dangers about a new U.K. telecommunications bill that critics believe will infringe upon the right to privacy.
The video, which was uploaded by the nonprofit Open Rights Group, depicts people on a busy London street entering a public bathroom. When each person closes the bathroom's door, the walls become transparent. Everyone on the street around them can clearly see inside.
"We're sorry, but you'll have to get used to your privacy being exposed," a disembodied voice tells the bathrooms' shocked occupants.
The video was created to demonstrate how the United Kingdom's new Investigatory Powers Bill, also known as Snooper's Charter, would give law enforcement more powers that could compromise everyone's privacy.
"The video was entirely unscripted," Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, wrote to A Plus. "We wanted to get spontaneous reaction to the threat of exposing people's privacy."
The bill allows the U.K. government to collect any citizen's records of Internet history and phone metadata. It also gives law enforcement the power to hack people's electronic devices.
Proponents of the law say that these provisions are needed to improve security, and cite past operations by intelligence agencies MI6 and GCHQ, as well as the National Crime Agency, as evidence.
"Without access to communications data, the National Crime Agency would not have had the evidence to prosecute pedophiles who had been visiting websites with indecent images of children," British politician Suella Fernandes wrote to The Telegraph. "Without interception intelligence, MI6 could not have detected and disrupted numerous plots to attack the UK being planned by individuals based abroad. And without access to bulk data, GCHQ would not be able to uncover cyber-attacks against the UK."
Critics, like NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, say the bill is a major invasion of privacy.
On Tuesday, the U.K. House of Commons passed the controversial bill. A recent poll found that 72 percent of citizens knew nothing about it. Hopefully, this video campaign from the Open Rights Group will educate the public about this important law.
"Public reaction [to the video] has been fantastic," Killock wrote to A Plus. "It has brought the issue of surveillance and privacy to a very new audience, and has been shared globally, as well as in the U.K."