New British surveillance law plans makes it mandatory for service providers to store data related to the internet activity of everyone in Britain.
The draft Investigatory Powers Bill published today is mainly targeted towards “enhancing powers” in the area of communications and data retention, according to British home Secretary, Theresa May.
According to the secretary, police and intelligence officers will have access to information regarding the sites people have visited without the need for a warrant. Concessions were made to accommodate privacy fears by stating there would be safeguard over M15, M16 and the police spying on the full content of people’s online activities.
These proposed powers are necessary to fight terror and crime, according to Secretary May. The draft Investigatory Powers Bill also contains proposals covering how the state can hack devices and run operations to sweep up large amounts of data as it flows through the internet. This basically legalizes the previously covert activities of GCHQ, as uncovered by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The proposed legislation still has to pass votes in both houses of Parliament, and would order communications companies, such as broadband firms, to hold basic details of the services that someone has accessed online. This measure has been proposed in the past, but has never been enacted.
The full list of the draft bills measures can be found here.