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article imageBritish government plans live Internet use surveilance

By Tim Sandle     May 5, 2017 in Internet
London - According to a leaked document, the British government is planning to undertake "live" surveillance of British web users' internet communications.
The paper, which takes the form of a draft bill to be enacted should Theresa May's Conservative Party win a majority on June 8, would become part of the Investigatory Powers Act. The act came in force at the end of 2016 and it expands the powers of the UK Intelligence Community. This act, dubbed by some as a "snooper's charter", allows the U.K. intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies to carry out targeted interception of communications, bulk collection of communications data, and bulk interception of communications.
Currently the act allows the communications interceptions to be performed retrospectively. The planned new law would allow law enforcement to carry out real-time monitoring of any person using the Internet in the U.K. The stipulation is that a senior government minister and judge would need to approve the real-time monitoring of any person. For this to happen any technology company, as Tech World reports, would be required by the law to remove any encryption from its communications so that security services could have unhindered access.
The draft of the bill was leaked by a civil liberties body called Open Rights Group and made available to the BBC. The draft appears to allow for more than one person to be monitored at any one time, with the text apparently reading: "provide and maintain the capability to simultaneously intercept, or obtain secondary data from 6,500 people at any one time."
The government have denied the paper presents any change to current policy. However, a spokesperson for the U.K.'s leading broadband provider, British Telecom, told the BBC the company had received "a copy of draft regulations, to be made under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, in relation to technical capability notices." The validity of the draft bill might become clear after the U.K. general election.
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