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Invasive Intelligence

The British government is rolling out some of the most extreme surveillance in the Western world

The British government is rolling out some of the most extreme surveillance in the Western world

This segment originally aired Jan. 5, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

A new law going into effect in the U.K. gives the British government sweeping new surveillance capabilities. The Investigatory Powers Act grants intelligence agencies and local authorities the right to access the internet history of any British citizen they target. It may be the most extreme surveillance act in the Western world.

Later this year, the British government will be able to require internet service providers to record the websites and messaging applications their customers visit and keep that information for one year. The data will then be available for use by 48 different national and local authorities without the need for a warrant.

“We have given our secret agencies and police powers to acquire certain information to keep us safe for very good reason: because there are people out there who mean us serious harm,” former Government Communications Headquarters Director Sir David Omand told VICE News correspondent Aris Roussinos in London.

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