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lecture: Understanding the Snooper’s Charter

Theresa May’s effort to abolish privacy

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The ‚Investigative Powers Bill‘ is about to become law in the UK. Its provisions, from looking up Internet connection records without a warrant to forcing communication service providers to assist with interception and decryption of data, have caused an outcry in the Western world. But how and why did British politics get here? And, most importantly of all: How could we fight back?

Roughly a year ago then home secretary Theresa May presented the ‚Investigative Powers Bill‘ or the so-called Snooper’s Charter. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies will enjoy new powers like bulk hacking while having reinforced their existing rights of mass surveillance. At the same time, a proper form of oversight is all but missing. Other countries such as China have even defended their own terrorism bills pointing at this very piece of legislation.

Amid loud privacy and civil right concerns, the Bill has already passed the House of Commons where only 5 % of casted votes opposed it.

But, does this reflect the will of the electorate? Is this the lesson from the Snowden revelations that we are going to see more not less infringements on civil rights?

The talk will also answer the question how the bill’s provisions compare to other initiatives like the new BND law in Germany or the Patriot Act in the USA.