This is bad, ZDNet reports Britain has passed the ‘most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy’. “The law forces UK internet providers to store browsing histories – including domains visited – for one year, in case of police investigations.”
The new law, dubbed the “snoopers’ charter”, was introduced by then-home secretary Theresa May in 2012, and took two attempts to get passed into law following breakdowns in the previous coalition government. Four years and a general election later – May is now prime minister – the bill was finalized and passed on Wednesday by both parliamentary houses.
The law will force internet providers to record every internet customer’s top-level web history in real-time for up to a year, which can be accessed by numerous government departments; force companies to decrypt data on demand – though the government has never been that clear on exactly how it forces foreign firms to do that that; and even disclose any new security features in products before they launch. Not only that, the law also gives the intelligence agencies the power to hack into computers and devices of citizens (known as equipment interference), although some protected professions – such as journalists and medical staff – are layered with marginally better protections.