The United Kingdom passed the “Snooper’s Charter” bill which allows the government to look into massive amounts of web and call data in the name of prevention of terrorist threats and privacy protection. Under the act, the web and IT companies need to hand over the details of web browsing of people made in the last 12 months. Through this charter, state surveillance has magnified to abnormal heights.Home Secretary, Amber Rudd called this a "world-leading legislation" and that it will provide "unprecedented transparency and substantial privacy protection." How ironical is the statement as because this charter is a direct invasion into the privacy of the people, the very polity whose privacy the government wants to protect.

Age of open web

The time we live in now can be seen as the age of open internet. There are massive amounts of data being shared, created over different social platforms which cater to millions of users. Obviously the more the data, there are more chances of vulnerability in terms of data manipulation and being misinterpreted.

The recent case of “fake news” on Facebook during the US elections can be a good example of the same. But does this mean that the government should have access into each and every piece of data which is being accessed?

Rather than generating a law which affects the majority of the people, the government should have gone for a more surgical operation which includes analysing trends and patterns of certain data and investigating them.

This can be compared to the cybercrime law passed in Pakistan on August 2016 allowing the government to gain access to information on the web and investigate and even arrest if need be.

A regressive move by the UK government

A reason for this is that Pakistan is a new democracy and thus they are not well versed in the guidelines regarding privacy and handling of large sums of data.

United Kingdom is a much more stable democracy if compared to Pakistan. It is a developed nation and has experience in handling massive amounts of information backed by advanced technological knowhow.

Such a law by the United Kingdom government is really regressive in nature and is not expected from a developed European nation.

An obvious problem which will now arise is how the government interprets “sensitive” information.

There is a huge chance of violations in people’s freedoms when it comes to information on the internet. State surveillance and privacy has been a controversial topic in the past. Such a law calls for more debate and questions as to till what extent the government should intrude into the privacy of their citizens.