By now there have been at least 121 websites blocked by ISPs in the UK as a result of s.97A of the Copyright, Designs and PatentsAct 1988 and s.37(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981. The blocks cover BitTorrent trackers; streaming sites; websites selling counterfeit products; and Popcorn Time sites. Music, film, sports matches, luxury goods and eBooks are protected. The burden on the ISPs is ever growing.
In addition to blocking the main sites which have been the subject of blocking injunction applications, ISPs are also required to block mirror and proxy versions of the sites, as and when they arise and are notified by rights holders
The controversial surveillance legislation discussed last summer in the UK parliament has been ruled unlawful by the UK High Court. The court argued that the vague terms and descriptions of powers in the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA) renders the act incompatible with human rights under European law.
The requirement that telecommunication firms retain the online browsing history of their customers for a 12 month period was a key feature of the so-called “snooper’s charter” that was blocked by Liberal Democrats in the last parliament.
However, UK internet providers may still be required to keep browsing data since senior police officers are lobbying the government for mandatory retention of internet connection records. Such a measure might re-appear in the investigatory powers bill which is due to be published next week.
The decision by the UK government to reduce parliamentary scrutiny of the Investigatory Powers Bill has been condemned by civil liberties groups and technology experts. The draft Bill and explanatory notes, which run to 299 pages, will now only receive three weeks scrutiny in order to drive the legislation through parliament in the New Year.
The UK government has published the draft Investigatory Powers Bill which will decide the surveillance powers that the police and intelligence have for years to come.
Open Rights Group has responded to the publication of the UK's proposed new surveillance law, the draft Investigatory Powers Bill.