Websites Internet (effect)source: The Guardian
published: 27 May 2015

Online campaigners have already started fighting Conservative plans to introduce new surveillance powers. The proposed powers appear in the draft communications data bill, labelled as a snooper’s charter, was announced in 2012 and subjected to widespread criticism and blocked previously by the Liberal Democrats.

The bill expands existing communications data retention requirements and grants access to law enforcement and other public authorities, in an effort to assist intelligence agencies and the police investigate crime and terrorism. However, the obligations imposed upon electronic communications services providers (CSPs) raise serious issues for both them and the public.

Application of the draft communications data bill

The draft bill regulates CSPs and applies to communications data. Communications data is generated by CSPs in the transmission of electronic messages; telephone, internet access, or email.

It includes the identity of the sender and recipient of a message; time of sending and potentially the geographical location. It may also include subscribers’ names and billing address, though not the content of the message.

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