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Terror Attacks Persuading UK Public to Support Snooper’s Charter

The growing climate of fear stoked by an increase in terror attacks and warnings seems to be winning the public round to support controversial new “Snooper’s Charter,” the Investigatory Powers Bill, according to new stats.

Broadband information site Broadband Genie polled over 3,000 customers across the country to better understand attitudes towards the proposed legislation.

It revealed that nearly two-thirds (63%) now support the bill, with over a quarter (27%) claiming their opinion has changed, thanks to recent terrorist activity.

This is despite continuing concerns amongst the public over some of the more controversial aspects of the bill, especially the requirement for ISPs to store the web browsing histories of all their customers for at least 12 months.

Over two-thirds (67%) of respondents said they don’t trust their provider to keep this data secure, an opinion galvanized by incidents such as the TalkTalk breach.

The government, employers and local authorities all received low trust scores from Broadband Genie customers regarding the protection of access to web history data.

By contrast, family members, the police, and intelligence agencies received above average trust scores, while users claimed they were most comfortable sharing such data with their partner.

The Investigatory Powers Bill has also been widely criticized for a passage which appears to call for a de facto ban on end-to-end encryption in messaging services.

Rob Hilborn, head of strategy at Broadband Genie, described the plans as “disastrous and unrealistic.”

“It would weaken security for everyone and do nothing to stop criminals using strong encryption. It could also have a negative impact on the IT industry,” he told Infosecurity.

“British companies will not be seen as trustworthy when it comes to safeguarding data, and manufacturers of hardware and software using end-to-end encryption will be faced with the choice of deliberately weakening security to comply with the law or pulling out of the UK."

Photo © Kletr

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