Government to grant police power to view everyone in Britain’s internet search history

Theresa May to announce powers in new surveillance bill

Home Secretary Theresa May is understood to be handing new powers to the police which will allow them to access the web browsing history of everybody in the UK.

The new surveillance bill, which May will introduce to the House of Commons on Wednesday, will also include a new legal requirement for communications companies to keep data pertaining to which pages people have visited, for a minimum period of 12 months.

According to the Telegraph the powers will enable police to look at the websites people are visiting and also the online searches they have conducted.

However, in order to do so, police must still obtain legal approval from the judiciary before they are able to access websites.

Speaking to MPs, May said: “I’ve said many times before that it is not possible to debate the balance between privacy and security, including the rights and wrongs of intrusive powers and the oversight arrangements that govern them without also considering the threats that we face as a country.

“Those threats remain considerable and they are evolving.

“They include not just terrorism from overseas and home-grown in the UK, but also industrial, military and state espionage.

“They include not just organised criminality, but also the proliferation of once physical crimes online, such as child sexual exploitation. And the technological challenges that that brings.

“In the face of such threats we have a duty to ensure that the agencies whose job it is to keep us safe have the powers they need to do the job.”

However, May’s bill faces criticism from politicians across the political spectrum. Nick Clegg has previously condemned such a move, while May’s colleague, David Davis said there is “no proven need” for companies to hang onto the data for a year.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Perhaps May needs to look at history before making stupid comments such as
    ' it is not possible to debate the balance between privacy and security, including the rights and wrongs of intrusive powers'

    Of course its possible, and her comment is an insult to every British soldier who has died for our freedoms - she should hang her head in shame!

    I'm sure Hitler, Stalin, Mao, IS etc. would happily echo her comments.

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