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Queen signs Investigatory Powers Bill into law despite petition against it gaining 134,298 signatories

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Despite mounting opposition from thousands of people, the Investigatory Powers Bill has been officially approved by the Queen.

The news comes after a petition asking the UK government to revoke the act reached over 134,000 signatures at the time of publication.

Signatories of the petition argued that the bill would grant “unprecedented levels of power” to the authorities and that these must be revoked.

2016: A year in UK tech

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said in a statement: “This government is clear that, at a time of heightened security threat, it is essential our law enforcement, security and intelligence services have the powers they need to keep people safe.

“The internet presents new opportunities for terrorists and we must ensure we have the capabilities to confront this challenge. But it is also right that these powers are subject to strict safeguards and rigorous oversight.

“The Investigatory Powers Act is world-leading legislation that provides unprecedented transparency and substantial privacy protection,” she added.

As a result of the largely controversial bill, the UK government and intelligence agencies will have unprecedented surveillance power unmatched by that of any other country in Western Europe or the USA.

Internet providers will also have to keep records on their users’ internet usage and share this with various departments and organisations if asked to do so.

Unveiled a year ago and championed by current prime minister Theresa May, the bill was passed through the House of Lords earlier this month, before being sent for final approval.

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