The snoopers’ charter returns after it was included in the Queen’s speech today, giving the police and intelligence agencies greater powers to monitor internet and phone use.
The new legislation will be known as the Investigatory Powers Bill and Downing Street said it “will modernise the law on communications data”.
The measures will allow the authorities to “keep you and your family safe”, it said, but the new laws will cover everything included in the previously-shelved charter with more provisions to intercept the content of bulk communications.
In her speech in the House of Lords, the Queen said the new laws “promote social cohesion and protect people by tackling extremism”.
It will also “address gaps” in intelligence gathering and access to communications data which is putting “lives at risk”.
But the Bill was criticised by the Open Rights Group, whose executive director Jim Killock said the government wanted to spy on “everyone, whether suspected of crime or not”.
A similar Bill, called the Draft Communications Data Bill, was shelved in 2013 after the Liberal Democrats opposed it.
Details of how the new laws would work will be published in the next few days, but it is believed that internet service providers and mobile operators will be required to log more data about their customers, with more focus on the content of the communications.
Last week the UK’s most senior police officer has backed the government’s plans to revive the controversial bill, calling for a mature discussion on how police tackle cybercrime, as E&T reported.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said the introduction of the legislation had been delayed too long during the previous parliament.