Tech Companies Must Keep Quiet About Govt Snooping Or Face Jail

A UK bill on internet surveillance is still triggering widespread public debate about the privacy of internet users.

Tech companies

Twitter along with other tech companies will face criminal charges if they warn users that they are being monitored by UK security services or police under the new Investigatory Powers Bill.

A report in June by David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, revealed that Twitter’s policy required them to notify its users of requests to access their data “unless persuaded not to do so, typically by a court order.”

But now a “disclosure provision” detailed in a note to the bill would criminalize that behavior.

Press TV reports:

The note says it “will ensure that a communication service provider does not notify the subject of an investigation that a request has been made for their data unless expressly permitted to do so.”


Media report say, the charge carries a maximum two-year prison sentence.

The bill, unveiled by Home Secretary Theresa May in November, requires telecommunications agencies to hand over data to security services and gives police, GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 unfettered access to records of Britons’ web use.

This has already sparked criticism from many tech companies.

Apple has already spoken out against the legislation, which would also require tech firms to store users’ data for up to twelve months. It says the legislation would not only hurt trust and transparency but also weaken security.