Broad-reaching surveillance

The UK government has presented draft amendments to the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) – otherwise known as “Snoopers Charter,” a highly controversial piece of legislation allowing for wide-scale spying by intelligence agencies.

The plan now is to specify that the authorities have the right to carry out mass surveillance of an internet service within a specific timeframe – and do so “dragnet-style,” by spying on all users of that service during a given time.

The first comparison that springs to mind is that this is a purely digital version of another very controversial mass surveillance practice known as “geofencing,” which involves obtaining data from service providers on all persons who happen to be within a physical perimeter.

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