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"UK Internet bill fails to protect privacy"

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
British MPs say the internet bill strengthen the government's powers to spy on the internet.

Concerns about the consequences of the UK government’s internet bill have spread to the parliament of the country.

British lawmakers in charge of scrutinizing the intelligence agencies say there are not enough privacy safeguards in plans to strengthen the government's powers to spy on the Internet.

The members of the Intelligence and Security Committee say the draft Investigatory Powers Bill takes a "piecemeal" approach to protecting privacy.

The committee says privacy should be an integral part of the legislation rather than an add-on. It also called for restraints on spy agencies' powers to scoop up bulk data from computer and mobile-phone users.

A London-based commentator Chris Bambery says the bill has already received a large amount of criticism from different parts of the society.

He noted that the UK government is going ahead with the bill despite the criticism and the bill starkly violates the individual freedom of the British citizens. 

The new surveillance bill was unveiled last year by Home Secretary Theresa May. It allows the UK police and security services to hack into computers and phones in order access communications metadata. Authorities will also be able to access individual’s internet browsing history without permission or a judicial warrant.

On the other hand, Internet companies will be required to store “internet connection records” for a maximum of 12 months, which will give security services access to every website visited, but not the individual pages.

The bill has already sparked criticism from many rights groups and tech companies.

Apple and many other tech giants have already spoken out against the legislation, which would also require tech firms to store users’ data for up to twelve months. They say the legislation would not only hurt trust and transparency but also weaken security.

 

 

 


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