New Laws Force Google, Snapchat, WhatsApp to share chats with GCHQ

Summary: New surveillance laws will be formed to force the leading Internet firms such as Apple, Facebook and Google to hand over encrypted messages from supposed terrorists.

Reportedly, all the internet bigwigs will now have to provide access to encrypted conversations from criminals and suspected terrorists to British spying agencies MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. This plan is an attempt to bolster the existing surveillance powers of the British spies.

According to the new Investigatory Powers Bill, Facebook owned WhatsApp, Snapchat and similar popular communication apps will be required to hand over their user messages.

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Queen Elizabeth announced new surveillance laws in her speech

This new Bill will overhaul the spy agencies ability to monitor suspects that are under scrutiny and intercept their conversations, reports Telegraph.

Investigatory Powers Bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech and it is supposed to revive the supposed “Snoopers Charter” but it is going to be much wider in scope than the previously planned bill.

The Bill actually represents British government’s pledge to “address ongoing capability gaps” that obstruct the security services ability to fight terrorism and serious crimes. Moreover, it also will enable intelligence agencies and spies to “target” the conversations of paedophiles, terrorists and dangerous criminals.

Intelligence and security agencies are primarily concerned about the aspect that sophisticated encryption facilities that surround online conversations now doesn’t let them see what is being planned by suspected criminals and terrorists.

But, the internet service providers have refrained from cooperating with the intelligence agencies and have proven to be a hard nut to crack as far as user privacy is concerned especially after the revelations from Edward Snowden.

GCHQ director Robert Hannigan accused internet firms of being in a “denial” over fanatics and extremists exploiting their networks. He stated that they had become the terrorists’ “command and control network of choice.”

Now, under the umbrella of the proposed bill, the intelligence agencies will be able to get a warrant from the Home Secretary and force any internet provider to break down its encryption security on any suspected user and let them see his or her conversations.

As per the Home Office representative, this bill is:

“landmark piece of legislation to cover the whole investigatory powers landscape in modern communications”.

sourceTelegraph
Featured Image viaMashable

Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.