The “snooper’s charter” bill extending the reach of state surveillance in Britain was given royal assent and became law on Tuesday as signatures on a petition calling for it to be repealed passed the 130,000 mark.
The home secretary, Amber Rudd, hailed the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 as “world-leading legislation” that provided “unprecedented transparency and substantial privacy protection”.
But privacy campaigners claimed that it would provide an international standard to authoritarian regimes around the world to justify their own intrusive surveillance powers.
The new surveillance law requires web and phone companies to store everyone’s web browsing histories for 12 months and give the police, security services and official agencies unprecedented access to the data.
It also provides the security services and police with new powers to hack into computers and phones and to collect communications data in bulk. The law requires judges to sign off police requests to view journalists’ call and web records, …
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