The UK government of David “bacon sandwich” Cameron is pushing ahead with plans to update internet surveillance laws, despite criticism from privacy activists, communications firms and three parliamentary committees.
The Home Office published the latest version of its Investigatory Powers Bill which had been released in draft form last November.
Home secretary Theresa May claims the draft is clearer clarifies that a company will only be forced to remove “electronic protections”, such as encryption, that it has applied to users’ messages when it is “technically feasible” to do so.
The earlier version suggested firms could be required to decrypt messages for which they do not have a key, which is impossible.
The government has also not stepped back from its heavily criticised plans requiring communications firms to hold “internet connection records”, detailing users’ web history, for a year , for use by police and security services in investigations. In fact the scope of these powers has actually been expanded to give police access to all web records, not just illegal websites or communications services.
Security services will also still be permitted to hack phones and computers en masse to gather surveillance data in the new bill. This is the same thing that Edward Snowden exposed and has been found to be illegal and abandoned in the US.
Critics say the government has ignored them and is attempting to rush through the legislation without proper scrutiny.