Wat this is scary stuff.
Some highlights from the Guardian article:
A bill giving the UK intelligence agencies and police the most sweeping surveillance powers in the western world has passed into law with barely a whimper, meeting only token resistance over the past 12 months from inside parliament and barely any from outside.
The Investigatory Powers Act, passed on Thursday, legalises a whole range of tools for snooping and hacking by the security services unmatched by any other country in western Europe or even the US.
The security agencies and police began the year braced for at least some opposition, rehearsing arguments for the debate. In the end, faced with public apathy and an opposition in disarray, the government did not have to make a single substantial concession to the privacy lobby.
The Liberal Democrat peer Lord Strasburger, one of the leading voices against the investigatory powers bill, said: “We do have to worry about a UK Donald Trump. If we do end up with one, and that is not impossible, we have created the tools for repression. If Labour had backed us up, we could have made the bill better. We have ended up with a bad bill because they were all over the place.
“The real Donald Trump has access to all the data that the British spooks are gathering and we should be worried about that.”
The Independent: Investigatory Powers Bill: ‘Snoopers Charter 2’ to pass into law, giving Government sweeping spying powers
The bill will force internet companies to store their users’ browsing data for a year, and will allow the government to force phone makers to hack into people’s handsets.
The House of Lords has passed the Investigatory Powers Bill, putting the huge spying powers on their way to becoming law within weeks. The bill – which forces internet companies to keep records on their users for up to a year, and allows the Government to force companies to hack into or break things they’ve sold so they can be spied on – has been fought against by privacy campaigners and technology companies including Apple and Twitter.
But the Government has worked to continue to pass the bill, despite objections from those companies that the legislation is not possible to enforce and would make customers unsafe. The House of Lords’s agreement to the text now means that it just awaits Royal Assent, at which point it will become law.
That's ... horrifying? On the other hand, I guess the UK is the first one to made this into law; I'd wager a beer that other nations of any significance and ability just do it illegally.