Vodafone joins Apple and Google in slamming UK government's Investigatory Powers Bill, warning that the snoopers' charter risks undermining trust

 
Clara Guibourg
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“A balance needs to be struck" (Source: Getty)

Vodafone has slammed the government’s so-called snoopers’ charter, warning that the proposed legislation to monitor communication risks undermining trust in British telco firms.

Vodafone has expressed concern that authorities’ power to tap into and access its network would be a “major imposition on the freedom of an operator”.

In a submission to the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill committee the firm questions whether this “intrusive power is necessary at all”.

“A balance needs to be struck between protecting the UK from terrorists and criminals whilst ensuring the vast majority of law abiding members of society have the right for their private information to be protected,” Vodafone wrote.

The telco giant is joined by a range of companies in criticising the proposal. American tech giants are among those raising concerns about the legislation, with Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and Microsoft all making submissions to the committee highlighting potential issues with cross-border jurisdiction and rejecting attempts to deliberately weaken encryption.

Last month Apple accused the UK government not only of “weakening security for hundreds of millions of law abiding customers” but also argued that the proposed bill risked causing “serious international conflicts”.

The government wants to introduce the new bill to update their powers to investigate terrorism, by giving police access to communication data.

This isn’t the first time Vodafone or other telco firms have raised questions about the proposd bill. Vodafone, EE, O2, Three and BT have previously all queried the cost that introducing the snoopers’ charter would bring.

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