U.K. Home secretary, Theresa May announced an anti-terrorism legislation which requires internet providers to furnish all data to authorities. The bill will be published this week and fast-tracked through the Parliament such that the Law can be enforced before the general elections in May.

Under the proposed law, Internet-service providers will have to retain information on Internet protocol addresses — a number that identifies individual computer devices — and supply it to security services on request to help them track users’ activities. The legislation is aimed at identifying organised criminals, cyber bullies, hackers, terror suspects, child sex offenders as well as children using social media to discuss suicidal tendencies.

The Security Bills will also target Islamic State extremists, refusing entry into Britain unless they agree to be subjected to surveillance and restrictions. Shami Chakrabarti, director of campaign group Liberty, said: “There’s no problem with the targeted investigation of terrorist suspects, including where it requires linking apparently anonymous communications to a particular person.

May stated – “These are measures that are necessary to deal with the threat that we face. The threat is greater now than it has been at any time” since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.”

She added that “This is a step but it doesn’t go all the way to ensuring that we can identify all the people we will need to” and to “fully identify” everybody, police would need the power to access communication data, as previously proposed in the Communication Data Bill also known as the Snooper’s charter which was scrapped following Lib Dem opposition.

The Liberal Democrats, however, welcomed May’s proposal on IP addresses.

“This is exactly the kind of thing that we need to take action on, rather than proposing an unnecessary, unworkable and disproportionate Snooper’s Charter,” the party said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. “There is absolutely no chance of that illiberal bill coming back under the coalition government.”

James Massey, chairman of the Internet Service Providers Association, told BBC that the plans could cost the industry “tens if not hundreds of millions” and would not catch paedophiles or those planning terror attacks. “The devil will be in the detail but it’s going to be difficult no matter how they do it,” he said. Dismissing this as a senseless move, he said that they should have been consulted first.

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(Image Credit: ukhomeoffice)

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