MPs say internet spying bill is unclear

internet spying

Theresa May’s Investigatory Powers Bill is confusing and unclear, according to a committee of MPs.

The bill will require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to store the internet activity of everyone, which the police and security services will be allowed to view without having a warrant, if the data is from the past year.

The draft was announced last year by the home secretary, who said that the data recorded would just be basic information, such as the domain names a person accesses, rather than the individual pages they visit.

However, some tech companies are doubtful about the possibility of separating this data out, and they also have fears that it could lead to a rise in hacking, with concerns over encryption.

Some companies, such as Sky and BT, have concerns about the costs involved with storing the data for 12 months, which does not happen currently. The Home Office has said it will reimburse “reasonable costs”, estimating it to cost the industry £174m over a decade.

Nicola Blackwood, chairperson of the Committee, said: “There remain questions about the feasibility of collecting and storing internet connection records, including concerns about ensuring security for the records from hackers.”

“The bill was intended to provide clarity to the industry, but the current draft contains very broad and ambiguous definitions of internet connection records, which are confusing communications providers. This must be put right for the bill to achieve its stated security goals,” the Oxford West and Abingdon MP continued.

The findings of the report will be looked at by the Home Office.