The Snoopers' Charter to Make Comeback Under Tory Government

By Gerald Lynch on at

With the dust of last week's General Election now settling and David Cameron having established his new majority Conservative government cabinet, the political shape of Britain for the next five years and beyond is being carved out. Privacy advocates, you might want to stop reading at this point.

Cameron's cabinet reshuffle has seen Theresa May again given the Home Secretary job. And that means that the invasive Draft Communications Data Bill, otherwise known as the Snoopers' Charter, is all but destined to pass into law.

The bill would require UK ISPs to keep reams of data on their customers' web browsing habits, and to make that information readily available to the government and security services. He may have been otherwise useless, but under the previous coalition government Nick Clegg was able to use his modicum of power to have the bill blocked in 2014, withdrawing necessary Liberal Democrat support for it. With a Tory government now holding the majority, May is set to press ahead for the Snoopers' Charter to be introduced, unchallenged.

It shouldn't come as a surprise -- the Conservatives have been upfront about their plans to have the bill passed into law should they gain a majority government right across their election campaign trail. But it's disappointing nonetheless.

Earlier in the year David Cameron hinted at more sweeping privacy changes. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks, the Prime Minister spoke of potentially blocking encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp unless their developers would open up backdoor access to the government.