The new legislation forces UK ISPs to store browsing histories, including domains visited, for at least 12cmonths and provide them to the police in case of investigations. The so-called “snoopers’ charter” was introduced by then home secretary Theresa May 4 years ago, and has twice tried to become a law following breakdowns in the previous coalition government.
Eventually, the bill was finalized and passed by both parliamentary houses, although civil liberties groups have long criticized it and argued that the legislation would empower the British government to “document everything we do online”. Well, indeed, it does. The snoopers’ charter will force ISPs to record every subscriber’s top-level web history in real-time for up to 12 months. These records will be accessible for many government departments. The law would also force tech firms to decrypt data on demand and even disclose any new security features in products before they launch.
Finally, the bill allows the intelligence agencies to hack into computers and devices of citizens, although particular professions like journalists and medical staff are covered with better protections. Some consumer rights activists call it the most extreme surveillance law ever passed, and it was opposed by representatives of the UN, all major British and global privacy and rights groups. At the same time, three-quarters respondent think that privacy is a human right.
It must be mentioned that there are some safeguards, like a “double lock” system that requires so that the secretary of state and an independent judicial commissioner must agree on a decision to carry out search warrants
The law will be ratified by royal assent soon.