PL in The Conversation: Snoopers’ Charter: why journalists (and the rest of us) should be afraid.

The “Snooper’s Charter mark two” – or Investigatory Powers Act – which has recently passed into law demonstrates again how successful Islamist terrorism has been in changing British society into a secret state.

With the passing of the Act we have taken a step into a new world of permanent surveillance that was not deemed necessary in 30 years of “The Troubles”, four decades of the Cold War or during two world wars. Home secretary Amber Rudd’s comment that it is “world-leading legislation” is worthy of Orwell’s doublethink. One might ask, what part of the world are we leading exactly: North Korea, Cuba, China and Saudi Arabia?

It provides the intelligence agencies with massive new surveillance powers including rules that force internet providers to keep complete records of every website that all of their customers visit. That information will be available to a wide range of other agencies, including the Department for Work and Pensions as well as the Food Standards Agency.

The first impact of the Act is on the freedom of the press. To read more