The IP Bill has been approved!
It's now official. The House of Lords has passed the Investigatory Powers Bill, allowing the government to monitor and spy on its population.
We've already mentioned Investigatory Powers Bill in our previous blog posts regarding Data Security and Privacy. The bill forces telecom companies and ISPs to record meta-data of their users for up to a year.
It also allows the Government to force companies to hack into or break things they've sold, so the users could be spied on. Furthermore, it disallows the use of encryption in devices being sold and used in the UK.
The UK has just legalized the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy. It goes farther than many autocracies. https://t.co/yvmv8CoHrj
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) November 17, 2016
The IPBill was already passed by the House of Commons by a clear majority in June of this year. The MPs voted overwhelmingly in its favor, with final result being 444 to 69.
Pro-privacy groups and advocates have campaigned against the legislation since then, dubbing it Snooper's Charter 2.0 in reference to the original attempt to pass the law that was thwarted by the Conservative government's former coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats.
Feeling a sense of profound despair tonight.
I see no reason to be optimistic about the future of UK democracy, privacy, or freedom.#IPBill
— NoDPI (@NoDPI) November 16, 2016
“The IP Bill will put into statute the powers and capabilities revealed by Snowden as well as increasing surveillance by the police and other government departments,” said Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group.
“There will continue to be a lack of privacy protections for international data sharing arrangements with the U.S," said Killock. "Parliament has also failed to address the implications of the technical integration of GCHQ and the NSA.”
As of now, the bill has been forwarded to the Queen of the UK and will immediately become a law once it is approved. Pro-privacy groups, including the Open Rights Group, said that they intend to continue fighting the law.
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