One week ago, four UK Lords pushed the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill (CTSB) and added in the sneaky Communications Data Bill—known as the Snooper’s Charter—without detailing the 16-page bill.
Even though the media exposed this one week before a decision was to be made, the huge backlash managed to delay the bill from being accepted, but it has returned one week later.
The new CTSB has almost no changes, still holding on to the snooper’s charter proposed last week. Lords West, Blair, Carlile and King are once again supporting the bill, despite being hit with hard criticism.
The Communications Data Bill would force internet companies to hold onto data for one year and allow UK authorities warrantless searches on any citizens data at any time.
The snooper’s charter is a similar bill to the one being pushed in Australia, apart from the fact international companies will be forced to hand over at least some data, with or without the company’s approval.
Not only would this be a breach of privacy for millions of internet users in the UK but it would be similar to Russia’s new surveillance laws, which forced Google to back out of the country.
Lord King said he didn’t know the specifics of applications like Facebook and WhatsApp, “but what is absolutely clear is that the terrorists and jihadists do.”
Masked under the idea of counter-terrorism is a clear move by the UK government to legalise the mass surveillance they have been working on for the past few years alongside their North American and Australian partners.
The UK government has already shown with the amount of surveillance it currently does in secret it cannot catch criminals, making it even less likely this new snooper’s charter would save any lives.