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January 8, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 10:43am

US tech firms unite against UK’s proposed spying legislation

News: UK Home Secretary Theresa May unveiled the Investigatory Powers Bill last November.

By CBR Staff Writer

US technology firms Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo have urged the UK Government to reconsider its proposed new surveillance law, saying that it will have far reaching implications across the world.

The tech giants have joined forces to express their concerns. They said: "The actions the UK Government takes here could have far reaching implications – for our customers, for your own citizens, and for the future of the global technology industry."

Due to be voted on later this year, the Investigatory Powers Bill is claimed to make it easier for the security services to get hold of the digital data of those the government suspects of serious crimes.

Under the proposed bill, the police and and intelligence agencies will gain powers to see records of websites and internet applications used by suspects without judicial authorisation.

Agencies should however secure authorisation from the Home Secretary and a new panel of judicial commissioners if they decide to see the content of communications.

The firms believe that encryption is a fundamental security tool, key to the security of the digital economy and plays a key role in ensuring the safety of global web users.

"We reject any proposals that would require companies to deliberately weaken the security of their products via backdoors, forced decryption, or any other means," they said.

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The companies are also concerned on the language used in the Bill by saying that it is too vague and some times ambiguous.

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