The forthcoming Investigatory Powers Bill will call for backdoors to be installed on encrypted chat services like WhatsApp and Snapchat.
This will allow security services to easily access chat logs of users suspected of plotting acts of terror.
Prime Minister David Cameron has previously called for all forms of communication to be monitored and it’s expected that companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and Snapchat will be legally obliged to make access to encrypted conversations easier.
The Investigatory Powers Bill, due to be published soon, was announced in the in the Queen’s Speech during the opening of Parliament.
The Bill is essentially a more far-ranging version of the Communications Data Bill or “Snoopers’ Charter”, which was proposed by Theresa May back in 2012 but ultimately torpedoed by the Liberal Democrats, for fear that it would effectively pave the way for wholesale surveillance of UK citizens.
Without such an influence in Number 10, the Conservatives have rapidly moved forward with plans to monitor all communications and content.
The new powers claim to ‘address ongoing capability gaps’ that are currently standing in the way of security services while guaranteeing the privacy of law-abiding citizens. Details on the Bill, due to to be published soon, are thin on the ground.