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Big Brother in UK: New Massive Surveillance Law to Share Mass Data With US?

Nov 24, 2016 06:01 AM EST
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A new legislation in the United Kingdom appears to not only give the government access to online activities of citizens but may also give room to share them with the United States.

The Investigatory Powers Bill has been given the green light by the British parliament, providing the government a new bulk of surveillance powers for police and intelligence services. Of course, this has not stopped critics to denounce the bill as "the most far-reaching of any western democracy."

According to Al Jazeera, the bill would require websites to keep their customers' browsing history for up to a year and even allow agencies access to them in order to help for investigations. Former US NSA contractor Edward Snowden said the powers "went further than many autocracies."

The bill is considered the first major update of British surveillance laws for 15 years. It has been passed by the House of Lords and is a Queen's stamp away from implementation. 

Prime Minister Theresa May introduced the bill last March as a "world-leading" legislation designed to reflect the changes in today's online media. The bill also gives legal footing to existing, albeit "murky" powers, such as hacking computers and phones. However, they do introduce safeguards such as the need for a judge's approval to authorize interception.

Regardless, critics have dubbed this as the "snooper's charter" and that it breaches fundamental rights of privacy.

Meanwhile, according to New Scientist, the new bill may even allow the United States access to the surveillance records. This stemmed from how the passing of the bill seemed to "slip" under the noses of the Trump election.

Speculations may also increase due to the fact that the US and the UK may have a "special relationship," even to their secret services. However, until the bill is actually in effect, we can only wait just how it will affect the operations of the GCHQ -- or UK's intelligence gathering hub -- and agencies like the CIA.

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