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Expect Less Scrutiny Now Theresa May is Prime Minister

July 15, 2016

Experts predict Theresa May's rise to PM will give the Snooper's Charter an easier ride.

With Theresa May becoming Prime Minister, the Investigatory Powers Bill (IP Bill), which she championed as Home Secretary, raises serious questions as it heads to becoming law.

 

The controversial plan to put surveillance on a stronger legal footing would compel internet service providers to store people's web browsing histories for up to one year, and force software providers to build backdoors into encryption.

 

The so-called 'Snooper’s Charter' may be under the aegis of new Home Secretary Amber Rudd, but plans have changed little, and with an opposition in disarray, look unlikely to be questioned as much as it should.

 

Encryption issues

 

Jacob Ginsberg, senior director at email encryption firm Echoworx, says that the bill undermines the fundamental right to privacy.

 

“There is a severe lack of clarity around encryption backdoors and bulk data collection in the bill, which will have far-reaching ramifications,” he says. “Businesses need to be reassured that backdoors will not be built into encryption solutions.'

 

"If this is not clearly defined, cloud and hosting companies will simply move their data to jurisdictions that the bill cannot influence. This could destroy the UK’s data storage market, driving out over £10 billion worth of business.”

Ginsberg adds that the speed at which the bill was rushed through parliament, and now through the House of Lords, undermines all of these concerns. “With Theresa May’s recent appointment, further scrutiny and changes are extremely unlikely.”

 

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