Revised plans for new surveillance law to be announced
2nd March 2016
The revised plans for the new surveillance law are to be set out in Parliament this week, meaning the British police and security agencies will have new powers to monitor people’s internet usage and communications.
It also means those working in lawyer and other legal jobs will be keeping a close eye on the new law.
The initial plans came under fire after being revealed last year, but the revised law is expected to include more privacy safeguards, but still give the government the necessary powers to fight terrorism.
New surveillance law to be implemented this year
Ministers have revealed they are hoping for the new surveillance bill to become law by the end of 2016 and supporters of the idea have said the implementation of the law is essential to help protect the UK’s national security as well as to prevent crime.
As part of the law, service providers will be asked to store the internet connection records for everyone within the UK for up to a year. Emails and other personal details such as bank records will also be collected as part of the new laws.
Some of the major changes from the initial plans include addressing fears by some technology giants who said that making changes to encryptions on mobile devices could adversely affect customers’ security. The revised plans will now see companies only being asked to remove encryptions that have been implemented by the mobile phone company themselves.
Another policy change for the Investigatory Powers Bill sees police and security agencies needing to gain a judge’s permission before being able to get access to communications data to reveal a journalist’s source.
The Home Office believes that the revised laws now set out a code of practice as well as boasting stronger controls to help protect freedom of speech and privacy.
Despite the new plans being an improvement, Lawrence Jones, who works for web hosting company UK Fast, told the BBC, “Criminals are not going to follow a set of rules. Criminals are going to hide behind proxy servers around the world where there's no government legislation.”