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Investigatory Powers Bill one step closer to becoming law

November 3, 2016

The Investigatory Powers Bill has passed its third reading in the House of Lords. The House of Lords did suggest some amendments to the bill, which means the bill will be thrown back to the House of Commons for a final 'look over', and is expected to become law by the end of 2016.

The Investigatory Powers Bill (IP Bill) has passed its third reading in the House of Lords. The 300 page document has completed its Parliamentary process, and is expected to become law by the end of 2016.

 

Introduced by the then-Home Secretary Theresa May back in November 2015, the Bill has been heavily criticised by human rights groups and privacy campaigners alike, as the Bill is seen to herald over-reaching, draconian and intrusive spying powers for the UK intelligence agencies. The Bill was consequently dubbed The Snoopers' Charter. 

 

The Bill will also allow the security services to continue to collect communications data in bulk and could see Internet security weakened by allowing mass hacking. Speaking back in March, Joe Cannataci, the UN's privacy chief, said the UK's planned surveillance laws go against privacy judgements passed in Europe and that ramifications could be felt in other countries.

 

Cannataci, whose focus is the right to privacy, criticised the UK government's approach to the creation of the IP Bill, saying that certain provisions of the Bill - particularly those of bulk hacking and bulk interception of data - "run counter to the most recent judgements of the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, and undermine the spirit of the very right to privacy."

 

Jacob Ginsberg, senior director at Echoworx told SC Media: “The analysis of metadata is just as intrusive as the analysis of content from web pages or social media. It may appear innocuous but it has the potential to expose the life histories of individuals over time, both personally and professionally. Party politics aside, this is an invasion of people's privacy. For businesses, this is cause for concern and will encourage them to think about jurisdictional shopping, and storing their data in countries that this bill cannot influence."

 

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