It’s official. After months and months of debating and speculation ‘the snoopers bill’ will now be becoming law. So, what is it? And how will it affect you?

The government and home office state that the bill is there to protect the country’s national security and give them more power for surveillance in areas they see fit.

To summarise the government has given this description as the bill’s summary:

“(It is …) A Bill to make provision about the interception of communications, equipment interference and the acquisition and retention of communications data, bulk personal datasets and other information”

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Here are some of the key powers that will be passed:

Dubbed by its critics as a ‘snooper bill’ the bill has received huge outcry. Before it even reached royal assent, a petition to repeal it reached over 100,000 signatures.

Many big names have continued to voice their opinions, with even Edward Snowden voicing his opinion in a tweet “The UK has just legalised the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy. It goes farther than many autocracies.”

Earlier this year larger tech firms such as Google and Microsoft also weighed in, making statements that were against the bill and stressing the importance of their encryption service and how the bill could affect it.

The largest implication for the entire population of the UK would the part of the bill that forces Internet service providers to hold the web browsing of all users. Which means everyone persons browsing data would be saved in case it needs to be accessed for a case.

However, clarity on this point has been stressed – the ISP’s won’t save what you did, rather they will only save the websites you visited and who you spoke to rather than every single action on that page. Around 48 different boards of authority will be able to request access to that database including GCHQ, the home office and HM revenue and customs.

Lastly, the ability to hack into any device at any time could pose a potential risk of a free reign for those in positions of authority.

For legal advice or to clear any questions regarding the new law please call us on  0116 2999 199 or alternatively you can email us at info@d-w-s.co.uk