British flagTechnology firms operating in the UK will be forced to install backdoors in their products and services for state surveillance purposes under proposed new laws, reports The Sunday Times.

The new powers come under the controversial Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB), referred to by critics as the "Snooper's Charter", which was published by Home Secretary Theresa May on March 1 and is due to get its second reading in parliament tomorrow. The bill is backed by a draft code of practice that would also ban companies from revealing if they had been asked to install the backdoor technology.

The accompanying draft document states that the British Home Secretary has the power to force firms to provide the "technical capability" to allow the security services to access communication data as well as undertake "interception" and "equipment interference".

The bill itself grants the Home Secretary the power to order the removal of "electronic protection", which technology experts say is another word for encryption. Internet service providers would also have to keep records of the online browsing history of everyone for a period of 12 months and enable intelligence agencies to access the data unhindered, allowing them to see every website a person has visited.

The UK opposition Labour party has warned the British government that it will derail the bill by abstaining to vote it through in its current form, which critics have called an invasion of privacy on a massive scale and a huge security risk if passed.

"The Home Secretary's Bill requires substantial changes before it will be acceptable to us," said Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham. "It must start with a presumption of privacy, as recommended by the Intelligence and Security Committee, include a clearer definition of the information that can be held in an internet connection record and set a higher threshold to justify access to them."

According to a 2016 Consumer Openness Index consumer survey, only 12 percent of British people said that they had a good understanding of what the bill involves.

"There are widespread doubts over the definition, not to mention the definability, of a number of the terms used in the draft bill," Nicola Blackwood MP, chair of the Science & Technology Committee, told TechRadar. "The government must urgently review the legislation so that the obligations on the industry are clear and proportionate."

In the same survey, half of respondents believed that "making personal data easier for government officials to access will also make it easier for criminals to access that data as well", while only 6 percent disagreed.

The bill's progress through the UK parliament comes at a time when Apple is engaged in a high-profile dispute with the FBI, which wants its own backdoor into the company's software to unlock the iPhone at the center of the San Bernardino shooter investigation.

Apple believes complying with the demand would set a dangerous precedent that could lead to the overall weakening of encryption on smartphones and other electronic devices. Apple is scheduled to appear in court to fight the order on March 22.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

nicovh Avatar
67 months ago
All hackers around the world must be like:



Attachment Image
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BvizioN Avatar
67 months ago
Wtf is wrong with these governments? I hope their devices are the first to get hacked so all their nasty secrets get published to the world.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
67 months ago
Arses.

Stupid is as stupid does.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
peterh988 Avatar
67 months ago
Teresa May coming out with the lame "paedophiles and terrorists" line in 3...2...1....

She initially wanted to ban 'encryption' before someone pointed out that would destroy all internet banking and commerce. Shows how much she knows about the subject.

Sorry luv, we know how you abuse every law you get, no one trusts you on this, either.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Porco Avatar
67 months ago
As a brit, I feel our government is a mixture of moronic and evil, and they both embarrass and terrify me.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Crosscreek Avatar
67 months ago
This is basically going to allow surveillance without even possession of a device.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...
important battery message iphone 11

Some iPhone 11 Users Seeing Increased Battery Health Percentages After iOS 14.5 Recalibration Process

Friday April 16, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users. Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are...
apple event particularly innovative article

Gurman: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Won't Feature Anything 'Particularly Innovative'

Thursday April 15, 2021 1:30 am PDT by
Bloomberg's highly-respected Mark Gurman says that he expects nothing "particularly innovative" or "extraordinary" to launch at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event next week, Tuesday, April 20. Gurman made the remarks during an interview for Bloomberg Technology, in which he reaffirmed that Apple will launch a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the higher-end model featuring a brand new...
Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Thursday April 15, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in...
iphone 13 pro max cads eap

iPhone 13 Series CAD Leaks Reveal Larger Camera Dimensions

Friday April 16, 2021 1:53 am PDT by
Information and alleged CADs of the upcoming iPhone 13 series, shared in a video from EverythingApplePro, indicates that Apple plans to make this year's iPhone camera module significantly bigger, likely to make way for larger sensors and sensor-shift stabilization. According to the CADs shared in the video, the iPhone 13 mini, Pro, and Pro Max camera module will all be a "perfect square."...
jaguar car homekit

User Adds Car to HomeKit for In-App Controls and Automations, Showing Future Potential

Thursday April 15, 2021 6:17 am PDT by
Blogger Siobhán Ellis has successfully integrated their electric car into their Apple HomeKit setup, adding in-app toggles for door locking, climate control, and more. The setup, which is outlined in detail on the blog Practical HomeKit, allows multiple elements of a Jaguar I-Pace electric vehicle to be monitored, controlled, and automated using the Home app. Using a HomeBridge plugin for ...
siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...