On 19th November, the Government’s Investigatory Powers Act -otherwise named the Snoopers Charter – was finally passed by the House of Lords.
This controversial bill requires Internet providers record which services their customers’ devices connect to – including websites and messaging apps and they must keep this information for one year and share it with various departments and organisations on demand.
Agencies that will be able to access the browsing records of individuals without a warrant include various police, military, government and NHS departments as well as the Food Standards Agency, the Gambling Commission, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Health and Safety Executive. Police and others will also be allowed to bug computers and phones with the Home Secretary’s approval.
However a petition at Westminster calling for the Act’s repeal has received more than 118,000 signatures and this means that it must now be considered for parliamentary debate.