The Government has rushed through new legislation allowing telecoms operators to keep customer data for up to one year. The new law will ensure that law enforcement bodies and intelligence agencies are able to access user data to assist with investigations.
The Government said its actions were prompted by two events earlier this year. The European Court of Justice did away with similar legislation in April. Meanwhile, businesses are demanding a clear legal framework for cooperating with the law. In a statement, the Government said there was an urgent need to adopt emergency legislation on the matter.
Prime Minister David Cameron said that the emergency law would not grant new powers and would just enshrine existing capabilities in law.
He said the new legislation would also clarify the grounds for authorities to request service providers provide the content of calls, emails and text messages.
He continued: 'This is at the heart of our entire criminal justice system. It is used in 95% of all serious organised crime cases. It has been used in every major security service counter-terrorism investigation over the last decade.'
'The ability to access information about communications and intercept the communications of dangerous individuals is essential to fight the threat from criminals and terrorists targeting the UK.'