The UK government wants to update the Investigatory Powers Act, which it introduced in 2016 to give intelligence agencies more power to spy on emails, texts, and web history. The bill has raised concerns among tech companies and privacy campaigners because it would allow the government to prevent them from updating their products and services, which could limit their ability to protect users’ privacy. Big companies like Apple and WhatsApp have threatened to stop offering their services in the UK if they are asked to undermine encryption under the new laws.

Some other concerns about the bill include its impact on data protection laws and the use of bulk data for training AI models. The bill will face further scrutiny in parliament and TechUK, an industry body, has written to the Home Secretary to raise its concerns. The British government insists that the bill is intended to give intelligence agencies more agility, but it faces significant opposition. Amendments proposed at the committee stage were rejected by the government, but industry still hopes to pare back the bill in the House of Commons.

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