According to Snowden, the new bill is being pushed forward at a pace that raises suspicions because there are signs that details about the bill are being kept hidden from the public. The purpose of the emergency surveillance law is to create a British copy of the NSA’s “Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board”.
Snowden has highlighted that the bill is being rushed through the law-making process as if a war was going on. The UK has no reason to rush a surveillance law through the red tape unless there is a hidden agenda involved.
The GCHQ is Copying the NSA
According to Edward Snowden, the last time any such activity was see was back in 2007 when the American government had to push the Protect America Act into law. Telecom and internet companies threatened to withdraw support and the NSA needed to stay inside their official data grids.
Very little is known about the bill except for the fact that it is meant to give British Surveillance agencies better grip on domestic data collection practices.
Edward Snowden has made it clear that the UK’s GCHQ works in coalition with the US’s NSA.
The GCHQ has stepped up security measures this month as press releases by the government highlight recent intelligence reports highlighting the possibility of a terrorist attack in the near future.
Possible Reason behind the Bill
One reason why the British government might be doing this is because the European Court of Justice recently scrapped a particular Union Directive that the UK had given telecom companies in 2006. Under this directive, all telecommunication companies were required to keep a 12 month running data log. The European Court of Justice slammed the directive stating that it was a gross violation of human rights.
As a result, the UK’s government is left without a direct line to domestic data. Cameron continues to claim that the new law is very reserved and does not seek to expand the government’s right to access or store domestic data.
Major ISPs in Britain that will be affected by the emergency law include BT, BSkyB, TalkTalk and Virgin Media. Major Mobile Service Providers that will be affected by the emergency law include EE, O2, Vodafone and Three.
Public Awareness about the Bill
There is limited public awareness about the actual contents of the bill, but the little that is known has been met with significant resistance and opposition.
According to Acting Director Emma Carr of UK’s leading civil liberties group, the Big Brother Watch:
“We need to get back to a point where the police monitor people who are actually suspected of wrongdoing and rather than wasting millions every year requiring data to be stored on an indiscriminate basis”
If the bill is passed
If the bill is passed into law, the British government will end up a significant amount of time and tax-payer’s pounds on the collection, storage and mining of British citizens. And all of this will take place without acquiring any form of consent.
The law will allow the UK government to setup servers inside the network architecture of ISPs and mobile service providers. As a result, there will be zero privacy unless data is encrypted through VPN.