UK government revises draft Internet spy law after criticism

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LONDON (AP) — The British government says it has amended a proposed Internet surveillance law to strengthen privacy protections after criticism from lawmakers.

Home Secretary Theresa May published the Investigatory Powers Bill on Tuesday, saying she hoped it would get parliamentary approval and become law by the end of the year.

The bill gives police and spies broad powers to obtain records of websites, apps and messaging services people have visited, and requires telecommunications companies to keep records of customers' Web histories for up to a year.

The bill was revised after lawmakers recommended changes to protect privacy and spell out authorities' powers more clearly.

The new version clarifies the section on encryption, which had concerned Internet service providers. It says firms can only be asked to remove encryption when it is "practicable."