Snooper's charter will allow GCHQ to 'hack all phones and laptops in an overseas town'


The snooper's charter, officially known as the Investigatory Powers Bill, reaches the House of Lords next week.

The Guardian reports that the powers included in the Bill are so broad they'll allow GCHQ to hack into every phone and laptop in an entire town - so long as that town is overseas.

A case study detailing how the bulk powers would be used in response to overseas terrorism is detailed here.

A draft of the Investigatory Powers Bill under which Communications firms will be legally required to help spies hack into suspects' smartphones and computers.
(Philip Toscano/PA)

The Bill will face opposition from Liberal Democrat peers in the House of Lords, who say it includes powers that are disproportionate.

Lib Dem spokesman on the Bill Lord Paddick told The Guardian: "The reason why it is called the 'snooper's charter' is because it includes powers to store everyone's web browsing history for 12 months. Despite renaming it as 'internet connection records', that is exactly what it requires communications service providers to do.

"The police and security services can authorise themselves to access anyone's web history on the basis that they are suspected of something or that an allegation has been made against them."

Changes are expected to be made as the Bill passes through the Lords, ensuring more protection for citizens, journalists and lawyers.