While being part of the European Union for the last several decades, the United Kingdom had adopted most of the electronic privacy regulations, net neutrality, safe harbor laws, and copyright rules of the EU.
But now that Britain is poised to leave the EU with new Prime Minister Theresa May at the helm, these electronic privacy regulations are due for a major override.
In what is known as the Snooper’s Charter, the UK is set to quickly become the most draconian internet surveillance state in the Western world. More formally known as the Investigatory Powers Bill, which is largely criticized by the Left, it would give the British government easy access to nearly everything its citizens do on the web and on their phones. The British Parliament has approved the bill and it is now sitting with the House of Lords.
In order to be surveilled, a person wouldn’t even need to be suspected of a crime. The legislation permits mass collection and retention of phone calls, messages, emails, and internet browsing history of just ordinary people doing their daily routine.
Privacy campaigners have shown utmost concern over how the bill will allow law enforcement to perform equipment interference, whereby data could be collected from phones and computers.
This piece of controversial legislation is the brainchild of May, who during her six years as Home Secretary, gave a grand finale with her fight in November to increase government surveillance over electronic data – a move that has landed her to be dubbed the internet’s “villain.” She claims the surveillance will aid in the counter-terrorism fight.
It appears Britain has sleepwalked itself into becoming a surveillance state.
Photo credit: Reuters