To amend the legislation on espionage making improvements decided the Britain. The goal is for the country to deal with threats to its national security ranging from cyberattacks to the exercise of harmful public influence and could undermine the British economy.
As the Minister of Interior Priti Patel stated on Wednesday (11/5), the reforms will include the preparation of a Program for the Official Recording of the Exercise of Public Influence from Foreign Countries.
This program will be similar to those in the US and Australia to reduce the risk of foreign governments harming British interests..
Patel said the new laws, along with more enhanced tools for Britain’s police and intelligence services, “will play a key role in helping those on the front lines respond to these threats, which we are constantly confronting.”
Britain’s counterintelligence and security service, known as MI5, warned members of parliament in January that the Chinese Communist Party had hired a woman to exert inappropriate influence on members of parliament.
In accordance with the provisions of the new legislation, it would be an offense to be an undeclared foreign spy, it would be an offense to make an unofficial statement of the exercise of public influence on behalf of a foreign country and the scope of reactions to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles will also be expanded to cyber attacks in critical infrastructure and other objectives.
Alongside, new legislation will allow courts to impose higher sentences for crimes committed with the support of foreign governmentsas announced by the Ministry of Justice.
“Foreign government agencies steal not only secrets but also information about cutting-edge developments in science”
MI5 CEO Ken McCallum said those who specialize in cyber espionage were circumventing existing espionage laws.
“Foreign government agencies steal not only secrets about our national security, but also information about cutting-edge developments in science, research, and technology. “They are trying to intervene under cover for our democracy, our economy and our society,” McCallum said.
Planned reforms will also restrict the access of people convicted of terrorist attacks from seeking public legal aid.
Source: News Beast