This news is from England, but I'm willing to bet something like it won't be long in coming to other countries as well - if it's not already happening, but without publicity (NSA, anyone?). The Telegraph reports:
Councils [i.e. municipalities], the taxman and dozens of other public bodies will be able to search the internet and social media activity of everyone in Britain, The Telegraph can disclose.
Technology firms will be required to keep records of the websites and apps which people have used and details of when they accessed them for 12 months under new powers unveiled this week.
The new powers, contained in legislation which is published on Wednesday, will primarily be used by police and the security services in pursuit of suspected terrorists and serious criminals.
They will not be allowed to see which pages people have viewed or their searches while on the websites and apps, or the content of any messages, without a warrant.
However, The Telegraph understands that a total of 38 bodies will also be entitled to access the records for the purpose of "detecting or preventing crime".
. . .
The intelligence agencies, police and the National Crime Agency will be the most prolific users of the new powers.
But other bodies including the Financial Conduct Authority, HMRC, councils, the Health and Safety Executive and the Department for Work and Pensions will be able to access the information.
Mrs May told BBC One's Andrew Marr show: "As people move into the digital age they no longer always communicate on telephone, they communicate over the internet.
"So, what we're talking about is just knowing that first step, that who has been contacted [by whom] or did this particular device access WhatsApp at 13.10 or Facebook at 14.05 - it doesn't go beyond that.
"It's precisely this area of catching paedophiles and dealing with child abuse that is precisely one of the reasons why we want this ability to look at these internet connection records."
There's more at the link. Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
Just why would no less than 38 - thirty-eight! - 'bodies' need such powers? Why not just one - a police force - to which the others must come with evidence justifying a search warrant that's issued by a judge before it's allowed to act on their behalf? And if you're sure that such sweeping powers of investigation into the most mundane details of your private life won't be misused and abused before long by some over-zealous investigator, or some overreaching official body out to ensure that you pay the taxes they think you owe . . . raise your hand and speak up.