- Under Britain's Draft Investigatory Powers Bill opponents say tech companies would be required to build intercept capabilities into encrypted communications and require telecom companies to maintain records of Web sites visited by citizens for a year so the government can access them.
- Sounding the alarm are tech companies and advocates for privacy who warn the bill affords the government digital surveillance powers that will also impact companies doing business with the UK.
- The bill also outlines how the state can hack devices and collect internet data, essentially putting into law intelligence and security organization GCHQ's covert activities uncovered by Edward Snowden.
"It's only communications data" = "It's only a comprehensive record of your private activities." It's the activity log of your life. #IPBill— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) November 4, 2015
"The law would apply to all companies doing business with the UK, which includes basically all companies that operate over the internet," said Nathan White, senior legislative manager at digital rights group Access. "This means that even wholly domestic encrypted communications in the United States, France, or South Africa would be put at risk."
The British government says the changes are vital to maintaining security. "Communications technologies that cross communications platforms and international borders increasingly allow those who would do us harm the opportunity to evade detection," Rt Hon Theresa May MP said in the report.
Last month the Obama administration decided not to force data decryption.
Parliament will make recommendations based on written and oral evidence received in the next few weeks.