11:21 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May

    New UK Surveillance Bill Stops Short of Fully Banning Data Encryption

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    New British contentious surveillance bill seeks to expand the role of security services but stops short of fully banning data encryption, Home Secretary Theresa May said Sunday.vv

    LONDON (Sputnik) – May is expected to introduce the Investigatory Powers Bill, granting police, intelligence and security agencies powers to access internet browsing history for a year, on Wednesday.

    "We’re not banning encryption…But what we will be doing is setting out the current position which enables authorities to issue warrants," May said in an interview with BBC.

    The British government has advocated in favor of weakening encryption to allow wider access to data stored online, including messaging application services such as iMessage and WhatsApp.

    May, who stressed that the bill is not seeking powers to go through internet browsing history, said the Investigatory Powers Bill provides the "first step" of identifying the communicating parties.

    Earlier this month, British media cited sources as saying the bill would allow intelligence agencies to install software, take photographs of targets and record conversations after obtaining warrants.

    According to the anticipated bill, UK telecommunication companies and internet service providers will be paid to log customers’ emails, internet use and other correspondence for easier searches by security officials.

    The plan makes it a legal requirement for communications companies to retain customer web browsing history accessible for 12 months.

    Police have been lobbying the government to grant it expanded surveillance powers, arguing that the scale of activities carried out online in the digital age makes traditional methods of surveillance and investigation less effective.

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    law, bill, parliament, internet, surveillance, Theresa May, United Kingdom
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