UK to become one of the world’s foremost surveillance states

The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (nicknamed the Snoopers’ Charter or Snooper’s Charter) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, and the Queen signified her royal assent to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 on 29 November 2016.

UK spies will be empowered to hack individuals, internet infrastructure, and even whole towns — if the government deems it necessary.

Although the UK’s opposition Labour Party originally put forward strong objections to the bill, these never turned into real opposition.

The UN’s privacy chief has called the situation “worse than scary.”

Legalising the bulk collection of data while adding new power. The legislation in question is called the Investigatory Powers Bill.

The bill will legalise the UK’s global surveillance program, which scoops up communications data from around the world, but it will also introduce new domestic powers, including a government database that stores the web history of every citizen in the country.

What exactly “practicable” means is never explained.

The UK is about to become one of the world’s foremost surveillance states, allowing its police and intelligence agencies to spy on its own people to a degree that is unprecedented for a democracy.

Out of all the new legislation, targeted hacking has probably been objected to the least.

Rather than rolling back powers, they’ve been used to legitimise these practices.”

The combination of a civil war between different factions in Labour and the UK’s shock decision to leave the European Union means the bill was never given politicians’ — or the country’s — full attention.

At the committee stage constitutional, technology, and human rights issues were examined. The Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Harriet Harman said:

The Bill provides a clear and transparent basis for powers already in use by the security and intelligence services, but there need to be further safeguards. Protection for MP communications from unjustified interference is vital, as it is for confidential communications between lawyers and clients, and for journalists’ sources, the Bill must provide tougher safeguards to ensure that the Government cannot abuse its powers to undermine Parliament’s ability to hold the Government to account.— Harriet Harman

On 16 November 2016 the House of Lords approved the final version of the Investigatory Powers Bill, leaving only the formality of Royal Assent to be completed before the Bill became law.

On 21 December 2016, the European Court of Justice declared that general surveillance on a mass scale is unlawful although little is known as to how this will affect the Investigatory Powers Bill at this stage.

source:"Investigatory Powers Bill: direction of travel welcome, but improvements proposed". UK Parliament. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016 (Picture)

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