UK Parliament Ignores Concerns; Moves Snooper's Charter Forward

from the sad dept

This isn't necessarily a huge surprise, but the UK's House of Commons overwhelmingly voted in support of the Snooper's Charter, officially known as the Investigatory Powers Bill. As we've discussed, this is a dangerous bill that will give the UK government significantly more surveillance powers (or, in many cases, will "authorize" things that the UK government has already been doing on dubious legal authority), with little to no real oversight. And despite people being upset about it, it still was approved by a vote of 444 to 69. And, yes, the current version of the bill still asks for backdoors to encryption, but leaves a vague exemption if a company claims that it would not be feasible or would be too expensive. That's better than the alternative, but it's still a step in the wrong direction. The bill still needs to be considered by the House of Lords, but it's disappointing that the House of Commons seemed so willing to cave to demands for more surveillance powers.

Filed Under: house of commons, investigatory powers bill, ip bill, snooper's charter, surveillance, uk


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  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 8 Jun 2016 @ 9:52pm

    See this?

    Stuff like this is why I have absolutely no sympathy when the UK politicians throw tantrums about how their personal data and communications gets scooped up along with everyone else's.

    They could reign in the spy agencies but deliberately choose not to, and in fact bend over backwards to give those same agencies more and more power, so any whining about how they were treated the same as everyone else is good for a hearty laugh at their expense, but no sympathy at all.

    And, yes, the current version of the bill still asks for backdoors to encryption, but leaves a vague exemption if a company claims that it would not be feasible or would be too expensive. That's better than the alternative, but it's still a step in the wrong direction.

    'Better' only in the 'One step forward two steps back' sense, because all it does is make it seem optional for companies to cripple their own security based upon whether or not they can afford it, but take a wild guess who's likely to decide what is and is not 'feasible'? If you said 'The very same people demanding crippled security' then congrats, you are almost certainly right and should be able to easily see the conflict of interest.

    What you'll get instead is every large company will be forced to choose between either no longer offering service in the UK(with the immediate cost/losses that will bring) or intentionally crippling their own security(which will lead to even more long-term costs/losses), with only the smallest local companies allowed to argue that they can't afford it, and even then you can be sure that there will be heavy pressure applied in an attempt to force them to cave.

    It's not 'better', it's replacing an obvious, immediate problem with a slightly more hidden problem that is if anything worse because it allows them to spin it so that the companies are being unreasonable for refusing('Company X cares more about their profits than preventing crime by allowing us to do all we can to stop criminals/terrorists/communists'), rather than the government for making the demands in the first place.

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