Statewatch article: RefNo# 36942
UK: Investigatory Powers Bill: the issues at stake
Statewatch News Online, August 2016
"Canada, Australia, France, New Zealand and others have introduced powers to give security services and police far-reaching surveillance powers. No country, however, is going quite as far as the UK in creating laws that give government agencies the ability and the right to gather information. Adding to traditional forms of targeted surveillance, security services will soon have new powers to mine information about individuals via the explosion in data generated by smartphones and tablets.

The UK’s investigatory powers bill — which is due to complete its final stages of parliamentary scrutiny in the autumn — formalises existing powers for security services to hack smartphones and computers, and trawl vast data sets. It also provides new powers to force internet companies to hand over, without a warrant, details of every website an individual visits and every app they use, and to hold that information for up to 12 months. The companies must also create systems so that the information can be accessed on demand via a single searchable database.

It will give government agencies powers beyond those in the US and most other western democracies. If it becomes law, the UK would be alone with Russia as the only two countries in the world that force companies to keep track of customers’ browsing histories."


See: Surveillance: Taking liberties? The UK is set to legislate to allow security services to hack phones and trawl browsing histories (Financial Times, link, paywall or limited free subscription)

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