Prime Minister David Cameron has hinted that the government could fast-track the ‘snoopers charter’ following last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4 about the proposed digital surveillance laws, Cameron said that the government “should look at the timetable” of the controversial Investigatory Powers Bill in the wake of the tragedy.
The new laws would force internet companies to store the browsing history of everyone in the country and allow the police and government authorities to access the information.
The move is viewed as a colossal invasion of privacy by critics of the bill, including NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
David Cameron refers to the new laws as ‘absolutely vital’ and could potentially push the laws through in a little as four weeks as a result of the recent terrorist attacks, it has been suggested.
The Bill is currently scheduled to be debated by MPs in 2016 before potentially being passed into law the following year.
Speaking at the weekend, Lib Dem peer and former government terror legislation reviewer Lord Carlile spoke out in support of rushing the new laws through in response to the Paris attacks.
Many have argued that while online displays of solidarity with the victims and survivors of the tragedy across social media are important, they will have no affect on preventing future atrocities.
Writing for The Telegraph, columnist Dan Hodges argues that:
“In the coming weeks the government’s surveillance bill will be passing through the Commons. If we truly believe in standing in solidarity with Paris, we must let it pass. We must demand it passes”.
However, critics of the bill have questioned how exactly the proposed laws would help to prevent future attacks.
David Allen Green, law and policy commentator at the Financial Times argues that: “France *already* had the state surveillance powers which the UK security lobby are now urging. The Paris atrocities still happened”.
A series of coordinated terrorist attacks rocked the French capital on 13 November with 129 lives lost so far and hundreds more injured.
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