UN Experts Warn About British Investigatory Powers Bill

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U.N. human rights experts say a legislative bill in Britain aimed at increasing powers of authorities to monitor suspects could threaten freedom of expression and association.

Three United Nations experts say the Investigatory Powers Bill would give British officials too much authority to carry out surveillance and store information on people, without enough oversight and transparency.

The office of the U.N. human rights chief said Monday the experts sent a six-page letter to a British parliamentary panel insisting that the measure could “ultimately stifle fundamental freedoms” such as by preventing individuals from ever knowing that they are under surveillance.

Civil liberties groups and Internet companies have also expressed alarm at the bill that would make telecommunications firms help spies hack into computers and phones, and store customers’ Web-surfing histories.

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Henry Sapiecha

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