“Britain unveiled plans on Wednesday for sweeping new surveillance powers, including the right to find out which websites people visit, measures ministers say are vital to keep the country safe but which critics denounce as an assault on freedoms,” Michael Holden and Kate Holton report for Reuters. “Across the West, debate about how to protect privacy while helping agencies operate in the digital age has raged since former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of mass surveillance by British and U.S. spies in 2013. Experts say part of the new British bill goes beyond the powers available to security services in the United States.”

“Home Secretary Theresa May told lawmakers the new document was unprecedented in detailing what spies could do and how they would be monitored. ‘It will provide the strongest safeguards and world-leading oversight arrangements,’ she said. ‘And it will give the men and women of our security and intelligence agencies and our law enforcement agencies … the powers they need to protect our country,'” Holden and Holton report. “They would be able to require communication service providers (CSPs) to hold their customers’ web browsing data for a year, which experts say is not available to their U.S. counterparts.”

“‘What the British are attempting to do, and what the French have already done post Charlie Hebdo, would never have seen the light of day in the American political system,’ Michael Hayden, former director of the U.S. National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency, told Reuters,” Holden and Holton report. “As well as being able to carry out bulk interception of communications data, the security services would be allowed to perform “equipment interference”, whereby spies take over computers or smartphones to access their data. Technology companies could be compelled to assist in that process. Even if they cannot be ordered to provide an update that would compromise equipment, said Kurt Opsahl, deputy executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, they might be told not to issue an update that patches a security flaw being exploited by the government. ‘Equipment interference is a big one, because that undermines trust in the products,’ said a U.S. industry trade group’s expert on the bill, asked to predict opposition from the likes of Apple, Facebook and Google. ‘If it makes you hesitate to update your iPhone software or use WhatsApp or Gmail, that’s a big deal for them.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Opposed this idiocy with all of your might, Brits!

The reason for mass encryption is the misuse of mass surveillance.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

SEE ALSO:
Do not let the government snoops weaken encryption – November 4, 2015
UK Prime Minister Cameron backs law to make Apple’s iPhone encryption illegal – November 3, 2015
U.S. NSA seeks to build quantum computer to crack most types of encryption – January 3, 2014
Government pressure for Apple to bypass encryption reduced as iPhone owner enters guilty plea – October 31, 2015
Judge compares government request for Apple to access users’ iPhone data to execution order – October 27, 2015
U.S. judge expresses doubts over forcing Apple to unlock iPhone – October 26, 2015
US DOJ claims Apple lacks legal standing to refuse iPhone unlock order – October 23, 2015
Apple tells U.S. judge it can’t unlock iPhones running iOS 8 or higher – October 20, 2015
a href=”http://macdailynews.com/2015/10/20/apple-ceo-cook-defends-encryption-opposes-back-door-for-government-spies/”>Apple CEO Cook defends encryption, opposes back door for government spies – October 20, 2015
With Apple court order, activist federal judge seeks to fuel debate about data encryption – October 12, 2015
Judge declines to order Apple to disable security on device seized by U.S. government – October 10, 2015
Apple refused to give iMessages to the U.S. government – September 8, 2015
Obama administration war against Apple just got uglier – July 31, 2015
Edward Snowden: Apple is a privacy pioneer – June 5, 2015
U.S. Senate blocks measures to extend so-called Patriot Act; NSA’s bulk collection of phone records in jeopardy – May 23, 2015
Rand Paul commandeers U.S. Senate to protest so-called Patriot Act, government intrusion on Americans’ privacy – May 20, 2015
Apple, others urge Obama to reject any proposal for smartphone backdoors – May 19, 2015
U.S. appeals court rules NSA bulk collection of phone data illegal – May 7, 2015
In open letter to Obama, Apple, Google, others urge Patriot Act not be renewed – March 26, 2015
Apple’s iOS encryption has ‘petrified’ the U.S. administration, governments around the world – March 19, 2015