News ID: 137633
Published: 0519 GMT March 01, 2016

Privacy advocates slam new UK surveillance law

Privacy advocates slam new UK surveillance law

Technology companies and privacy campaigners have blasted a newly proposed surveillance law in the UK that calls for bulk data collection of Internet users.

"Powers for bulk interception and bulk equipment interference - hacking by any other name - leaves the right to privacy dangerously undermined and the security of our infrastructure at risk," said Gus Hossein, executive director of Privacy International.

The comments come in the wake of the new proposed law allowing Britain's security services and police to collect online data of users in bulk.

The new ‘Investigatory Powers Bill’ would require websites to keep Internet connection records for up to a year and allow law enforcement agencies to access them to help with investigations, according to AFP.

This is while British Home Secretary Theresa May says the government is "not seeking sweeping new powers" in what would be the first overhaul of snooping laws for 15 years.

"Terrorists and criminals are operating online and we need to ensure the police and security services can keep pace with the modern world and continue to protect the British public from the many serious threats we face," she added.

The House of Commons is expected to hold its first debate on the bill in two weeks and ministers hope to pass it by the end of the year.

Over 100 politicians, campaigners and academics have already signed a letter, warning the government against rushing the bill through parliament.

The bill comes amid a global debate on how far countries can go in surveillance over citizens following leaks by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden about American and British spying on people around the world.

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