Proposed British Law Could Mean Citizens Web Surfing History Will Be Fair Game

Security / Tech
Image Courtesy Cage UK

A new law that has come before the British Parliament could mean that British citizens web surfing history would be saved for 12 months. The law is being proposed under the argument that serious crimes and terrorists crimes need to be fought and this would be one tool for authorities to use. Of course this type of law has serious implications for privacy and it is a blanket law affecting the entire citizenry, not just one or two potential targets. The new law would also allow British authorities the right to hack in or manipulate citizens mobile devices and computers.

The legislation, unveiled Wednesday, also aims to codify the bulk collection of communications data that Britain’s spy agencies have been practicing without an explicit parliamentary mandate. Some of these methods of vacuuming up so-called “metadata” were exposed in documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden.

The new bill would enshrine in law the security agencies’ right to hack into and bug computers and phones. But intercepting a person’s emails and text messages would need the approval of both a senior government minister and a senior judge, a “double-lock” system designed to keep major breaches of privacy to a minimum, Home Secretary Theresa May said.

“Technology has moved on. The law hasn’t,” May told the House of Commons. “We need to update the law so that our law-enforcement and security agencies have the powers they need to continue to keep us safe.”

While the law has yet to be passed, critics are nervous about this broad reach of authority and the requirement of mobile companies to actively track their customers web surfing and data. If this law passes, British citizens will pretty much be at the mercy of the government snoops.

What do you think of this law potentially being passed in the British Parliament? Let us know in the comments below.

  Source: LA Times
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