Government proposes new surveillance bill to store Internet records

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© Amanda Mills, USCDCP / public Domain Images

A new surveillance law is to be published later requiring internet firms to store people’s online activity for 12 months.                                                                                 

The government drafted an Investigatory Powers Bill to include the new requirement, and is promising strict safeguards, a new offence of misuse of data and a ban on councils accessing people’s Internet records. Judges are calling for Ministers to sign warrants to access digital record content. Home Secretary Theresa May is currently responsible for this.                                                                                                       

David Cameron said the draft bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation of the parliament, and will be published on Wednesday in the House of Commons.  The final bill is scheduled to get the final vote next year by both Houses of Parliament, after a detailed examination.

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Data stored by companies would include a basic domain address, and not a full browsing history within search terms entered. The bill allows companies to hold “internet connection records” so they can be available if requested by authorities.

Mrs May said the government “will not be giving powers to go through people’s browsing history”.

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