[Reuters] UK unveils powers to spy on Web use, raising privacy fears

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Britain unveiled plans on Wednesday for sweeping new surveillance powers, including the right to find out which websites people visit, measures ministers say are vital to keep the country safe but which critics denounce as an assault on freedoms. […]

May said that many of the new bill’s measures merely updated existing powers or spelled them out. […]

May said there would be no new ban on encryption, but in its guide to the bill, the Home office said there was an existing requirement on CSPs « to maintain permanent interception capabilities, including maintaining the ability to remove any encryption applied by the CSP ».

The bill would also place explicit obligations on service providers to help intercept data and hack suspects’ devices, which U.S. experts said might defeat any encryption that remains, such as the end-to-end encryption on Apple’s iMessages.

As well as being able to carry out bulk interception of communications data, the security services would be allowed to perform « equipment interference », whereby spies take over computers or smartphones to access their data. […]