by Darius Shahtahmasebi, Activist Post:
The House of Lords, the upper house of the U.K.’s parliament, just passed the Investigatory Powers Bill, legislation that provides immense spying powers to the British government. The government’s new surveillance privileges are virtually unrivaled across the globe.
The bill, which critics have deemed the “Snooper’s Charter,” will force internet companies to keep records on their users for up to a year. These records will be accessed by numerous government departments, and the law also allows the government to force companies to hack into products they have sold so consumers can be monitored. Under the newly passed legislation, the government can also ask these companies to make their devices less secure so communications can be intercepted. They can also mandate that companies encrypt their devices on demand.
As noted by the Independent:
In all, the new bill includes a range of changes to the law that will affect normal people, and gives Britain perhaps the most extreme spying powers in the developed world. (emphasis added)
Even in the face of mounting criticism from these major technology and internet companies — and from senior parliamentary committees and representatives from the United Nations — the legislation was barely challenged in Parliament.
Like a bad dream that only gets worse, the only amendment to the bill so far has been from MPs (members of Parliament), and its purpose was to ensure that MPs could not be spied on under the new legislation.
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