Investigatory Powers Bill Passed By Parliament

The Investigatory Powers bill, nicknamed the Snooper's Charter, has been passed by both Houses of Parliament in the UK, paving the way for it to be given the Royal Assent and made into law. The controversial bill requires all communications service providers to keep records of all websites a user accesses for one calendar year, and also requires that companies decrypt data upon request. The bill will also create a huge database containing information on UK citizens, including highly sensitive data such as sexual orientation, religion, race, political views, medical conditions and more. The bill aims to help intelligence and law enforcement agencies to gather information during criminal and terrorism investigations. Safeguards have been built into the bill, including the requirement that both a judge and a senior minister must approve warrants requesting access to data. An Investigatory Powers Commissioner will also check that agencies are using their powers correctly. Many critics are unhappy with the bill, however, claiming that it is too intrusive and effectively obliterates privacy on the internet in the UK.