After criticism from lawmakers ,the UK government announced to amend a proposed Internet surveillance law to strengthen privacy protections . But the opponent say the legislation gives police unprecedented power to look at the Internet browsing history of everyone in Britain.
On Tuesday ,Home Secretary Theresa May published the Investigatory Powers Bill , and said hope it would get parliamentary approval and become law by the end of the year.
The bill is intended to replace a patchwork of existing laws and define the scope and limits of surveillance in the digital age. It gives police and spies broad powers to obtain browsing records and requires telecommunications companies to keep records of customers’ Web histories for up to a year.
After scrutiny by committees of lawmakers ,the legislation has been revised , and recommended changes to protect privacy and spell out authorities’ powers more clearly.
The main Internet companies of Facebook, Googl, Microsoft Twitter and Yahoo expressed that worried the bill could weaken encryption, which is key to ensuring online shopping and other activities can be conducted in a safe way.
The Internet companies were asked to remove encryption only when they have applied and it’s “practicable.”, in the new version of the bill.
It also point that police has the right to access the Internet connection records — a list of websites, apps and messaging services someone has visited,— in pursuit of “gathering information.”
Different from the earlier versions of the bill,police’s power is not limited in parts of the records, such as illegal websites people had visited.It also allows authorities to hack into phones and computers in life-threatening situations.
May added she and her department “have strengthened safeguards, enhanced privacy protections and bolstered oversight arrangements.”
But, director of human rights organization Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti said the changes amounted to “minor Botox.” And Amnesty International U.K. director Kate Allen accused the government of a “snooping power-grab.”