'Snoopers Charter' Should we be worried?

The Draft Communications Bill, dubbed the "snoopers charter" by many of its critics and the Liberal Democrats when in coalition with the Conservatives, is being revived by the Conservatives again after its initial failure to be passed in parliament during the previous 2010-2015 parliament. It's initial failure to be passed was attributed to widespread lack of support for the bill, including opposition from the Liberal Democrats whom managed to block it from being introduced.

However, now that the Conservatives have a majority they're planning on reviving the measure, which could mean that internet providers, phone networks and telecommunications agencies and other businesses and companies would have to store information about their customers which probably under normal circumstances they wouldn't have the desire to keep.

As far as I understand it, these internet service providers and companies already have to hold onto information of their customers relating to general business matters for up to 12 months. These new proposals would widen these obligations.

By far the most compelling and widespread argument against such proposals is that it breaches the individuals right to privacy. Theresa May has tried to justify the proposals to be introduced by trying to reassure everyone that while data being collected will record information such as who messages, emails etc are being sent to but not specifically the content of the messages themselves.

There may be other proposals to keep records on internet history and other matters, although I'm not clear on the exact proposals of what is and what isn't to be recorded.

Moreover, another main justification for these proposals suggested by the Home Office is to give law enforcement and intelligence agencies more powers to tackle crime and prevent future possible terrorist attacks. In other words, the justification is to ensure the public is safer by preventing crime before it can be enacted. No one would disagree with that in principle, but it's the way that government has gone about doing it that is surrounded in controversy.

In regards to business, it it suggested that this could have a negative effect on businesses as they'll be compelled to store information that they otherwise would not desire to keep which will cost them money and may disincentivize new internet business start ups due to these added costs.

By: Kieran Hudson, History and politics university student blogging on British politics, news and current affairs. Twitter: @PoliticalKieran

'Snoopers Charter' Should we be worried? 'Snoopers Charter' Should we be worried? Reviewed by Admin on 19:18 Rating: 5

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