U.K. unveils new bill that will allow internet surveillance by the government
Britain has unveiled new surveillance law plans that will allow the police and security services to access the records of internet activity of everyone in the country without any judicial check. The new surveillance powers aimed to keep the country safe.
The new law plans will make the internet records of everyone in UK to be stored for a year by service providers including the websites that people visit. The government will be approved to access the data collection.
The law plans also gives the U.K. government right to hack into and bug computers and phones. The citizens are not authorized to raise questions about the surveillance warrants or evidence obtained through the surveillance presented in the court.
The bill will also oblige the provider companies to assist in hacking encryptions.
The U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May, who unveiled the bill, stated according to Reuters, that the new surveillance powers will provide the strongest protections and safeguards in the democratic world and as an approach that sets new standards for openness, transparency and oversight.
May added that the law plans will give the country's security and intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies the powers they need to protect the country.
On the other hand, the Director of Civil Rights Campaign Liberty Shami Chakrabarty said, according to BBC News, that the long-awaited bill raises a breath-taking attack on the internet security of every person in the country.
Chakrabarty said that he looks to Parliament to step in and strike a better balance between privacy and surveillance.
While May stated that the internet connection record is only a communications data that is simply equivalent with an itemised phone bill, Chakrabarty posted a message on Twitter: "'It's only communications data' = It's only a comprehensive record of your private activities."
The bill has also raised many concerns from the internet companies. As reported on The Intercept, CEO of Web Foundation Anne Jellema has expressed concerns about the bill's surveillance of internet records.
Jellema stated that it will hurt U.K. businesses, create new vulnerabilities for criminals to attack and ride roughshod over the right to privacy. The record will be possible to show a detailed picture of a person's hopes, fears and activities and will create a data pool rife for theft, misuse or political persecution.
The Computer and Communications Industry Association, a group for internet and telecoms firms including Google, Microsoft and Facebook, also said that the law plans were a concern and as a setback for privacy right. While Yahoo Inc. concerned that the law would extend to non-UK companies.