Theresa May has announced that ‘contentious’ parts of the web surveillance plan will be dropped.
Police will now be able to view websites people have visited but not the specific pages they have viewed, without a warrant.
The new security bill which will be presented to Parliament on Wednesday and is the latest in a series of attempts to update the law to enable security services to access communications data. The new bill also requires that communications firms will retain data on website addresses for a year, enabling websites to become a practical implement.
The data saved would consist of a basic domain address, not a full browsing history. For example, relevant security teams would be able to see that a person visited the domain www.virtualDCS.co.uk but not the pages which they viewed.
“It doesn’t have some of the more contentious powers that were in that (2012) bill.
“So for example, we won’t be requiring communication service providers from in the UK to store third-party data, we won’t be making the same requirements in relation to data retention on overseas CSPs.
“And crucially, we will not be giving powers to go through people’s browsing history. That is not what the investigatory powers bill is about” said Theresa May.
Former head of GCHQ Sir David Omand has stated that the data gathered was not used to spy on members of the public, but to see “for example, whether a suspect has downloaded a terrorist manual”.