UK Introduces Bill to Supervise Digital Citizens

    Home Secretary Theresa May presents government proposals

    The UK government has published a draft of a monitoring project in digital communications. The 299 paper was presented by Theresa May , Minister of the Ministry of the Interior at a meeting of Parliament. One of the proposed innovations is the legalization of the interception of electronic messages from users. The government describes this as "the ability of intelligence and law enforcement agencies to work with online communications from terrorists, pauphiles and other criminals."

    Earlier it was reported that the government is generally going to ban data encryptionbut the reality was a little better. According to May, the new law "will provide the strongest encryption and security than anywhere else in the democratic world, and will also set new standards for openness, transparency and observation." As for the observation, everything is confirmed: in the new bill, telecommunications companies are obliged to store data on any site that was visited by a resident of the United Kingdom for a year - previously there were similar proposals, but the bills with them never passed hearings.

    Police and intelligence services will need to obtain permission to view user data. If permission is obtained, the police will be able to see which sites a particular user has visited. However, the user's search history on the same site remains inaccessible to law enforcement agencies. You will also not be able to see which pages the user visited. For example, the police will be able to find out that a person has opened the website , but will not be able to find out which pages of the site this person visited or what he was looking for on the site.

    A special body, the Investigatory Powers Commission, of which judges will be members, will also be created. This body will be able to stop the intelligence services even if the operation has been approved by the UK Secretary of the Interior. In some cases, if someone’s life is in danger, the Minister of the Interior will be able to approve the interception of data without the approval of the judiciary.

    Intrusion or privacy?

    Proponents of privacy believe that the new requirements for storing user data are a strengthening of the special services.

    According to the head of the Big Brother Watch organization, the possibility of requesting a history of site visits from special services and authorities is an interference with the user's personal life. In addition, the organization’s representative believes that providing authorities with access to encrypted data is, in fact, creating legitimate backdoors for authorities.

    So far, the bill is nothing more than a mere collection of proposals. But all these ideas can be realized after the government votes on all positions next year.


    Earlier, The Telegraph journalist suggested that the government would seek a way to prohibit the type of encryption when only the sender and receiver can decrypt the data. Nevertheless, nothing of the kind happened - the legislation in this area remained the same.

    Attitude of citizens

    In January of this year, the results of a study on the attitude of UK citizens to government oversight were published . As it turned out, 53% of respondents supported the government.

    In addition, another 63% trust the intelligence services, and believe that these bodies are doing everything right. 29% of respondents do not trust intelligence services.

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