A mass surveillance bill has stirred a lot of controversy and received lots of criticisms. The Investigatory Powers Bill passed through the House of Lords on Wednesday. Completing its last step, this bill will become a law before the end of this year, making the UK the country with the most sweeping surveillance in the world!
This law will give government some powers that are quite similar to what goes on in George Orwell's dystopian novel, 1984.
According to the article on Independent, the main points of this development are:
The law requires internet service providers to keep detailed information on their customers’ web browsing for the last year.
The government will have the power to force tech companies to hack their customers' phones (especially smart phones) for surveillance purposes.
Not only activists but also many tech companies including Apple and Twitter protested against these controversial points.
But the government went on to pass the bill despite the negative reactions.
The bill passed the parliament with 245 ayes and 50 nays.
Despite criticism from almost every major technology and internet company – including usually reticent ones like Apple – and from senior parliamentary committees, the legislation has received little opposition in parliament. Early on, the only amendment that the bill received from MPs was a measure that stopped themselves being spied on, and while Labour has raised objections to the sweeping spying powers it has not voted against the bill. The Queen's authorization is the only step left for this bill to become a law.