Snoopers' Charter will be used to track down cyberbullies and trolls

But the bad bits haven't changed

The UK's new surveillance bill, often referred to as the "Snoopers' Charter", will be used to track down cyberbullies and trolls.

The new spying laws outlined in the Investigatory Powers Bill will let police track down and unmask anonymous online trolls with the help of internet service providers, which will be forced to keep a record of connections made by individuals.

The revelation was made in a letter written by UK Home Secretary Theresa May in response to a question from MP James Cartlidge, obtained by The Times.

"Interned connection records would update the capability of law enforcement in a criminal investigation to determine the sender and recipient of a communication," said May, "for example, a malicious message such as those exchanged in cyberbullying."

While May's remarks put a more positive spin on the bill, it's unlikely to give opponents a change of heart. The bill will still be opening up the UK to mass surveillance, with ISPs logging internet records of all users.

Resistance

A few days ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke out against the legislation, in a written submission to the bill committee.

"We believe it would be wrong to weaken security security for hundreds of millions of law-abiding customers so that it will also be weaker for the very few who pose a threat," he said.

"In this rapid evolving cyber-threat environment, companies should remain free to implement strong encryption to protect customers."

When the bill was pushed through earlier this year, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group Jim Killock told techradar that there would likely be resistance from foreign firms who will not want further information to be collected.