"A sweeping new surveillance regime is set to become UK law before the end of the year after the Investigatory Powers Bill passed through the House of Lords on Wednesday."
"The legislation, dubbed the ‘snooper’s charter,’ creates a legal framework authorizing the government to hack into devices, networks and services in bulk."
"The law will allow for large databases of personal information on UK citizens to be maintained."
"It requires internet, phone and communication app companies to store records for 12 months and allow authorities to access them on demand. That data could be anything from internet search history, calls made or messages sent."
"Security agencies will also be able to force companies to decrypt data, effectively placing limits on the use of end-to-end encryption."
"For the bill to become law it still requires royal assent, which is essentially a formality. Once this is done, the UK will have one of the most wide-ranging, all-encompassing and privacy-invading mass surveillance programs in the world, according to critics."
"Prime Minister Theresa May pushed hard for the bill on the basis of counter-terrorism."
"The government argues the incoming law provides intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the powers necessary to fight terrorism and investigate crime."