The so-called "Snoopers' Charter" is already costing the UK communications and technology industry business, UKFast's CEO has claimed, ahead of a draft of the bill being introduced to parliament tomorrow.
When home secretary Theresa May (pictured above) unveiled the draft Investigatory Powers Bill in November, she reasoned that "there should be no area of cyberspace which is a haven for those who seek to harm us to plot, poison minds and peddle hatred under the radar".
But Lawrence Jones, who heads the Manchester-based hosting firm, called the draft Investigatory Powers Bill "un-British" and said it would undermine UK tech firms' advantage over US counterparts.
It could also force UK tech firms to relocate if it is passed in its current form, he added.
According to UKFast, the draft bill is understood to contain plans that will mandate collection and storage of individuals' internet activities for 12 months.
Jones (pictured right) said: "Apart from the fact that it's un-British and unethical to collect this bulk private data from people, the impact it could have on British digital businesses is significant. We currently trade on the fact that we have more security and privacy rights than our American counterparts, but that competitive advantage could be removed."
Jones added: "The Snoopers' Charter is already costing the UK communications and technology industry and forcing innovative and successful firms to relocate their operations outside the UK. Look at Eris Industries who are a great company; they are planning to relocate their operations if this bill is passed in its current form."
Jones also questioned whether the government had given thought to other costs its introduction could rack up besides the £2bn the government itself estimates it will cost to implement.
"There is the critical issue of actually storing the data for 12 months. Who will bear the cost of managing that staggering amount of information? I'm not sure they've been getting the best advice," he said.
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