United Kingdom

Investigatory Powers Act


1 out of 5

December 2016 : Enacted

This British law compels Internet service providers and mobile providers to store all consumer metadata for 12 months, and make this data accessible to the government upon request. The Act also legalises state-sponsored hacking, and clarifies the government's use of mass surveillance tactics known as bulk powers (these had been largely undefined previously). The Investigatory Powers Act also calls for mandatory backdoors into encrypted communications.

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The policy creates a new framework of oversight intended to prevent abuse, which includes merging previous agencies in setting up an independent body tasked with reviewing and reporting on the government's surveillance activities.


This policy widens government authority to new heights in the Western world. From granting overly expansive hacking powers, to the use of thematic warrants, to gross risks of citizen privacy, this bill grants the British government unprecedented authority and access to information.

  • Encryption,
  • International,
  • Mass Surveillance,
  • Privacy