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Tuesday, 13 November, 2001, 13:44 GMT
Terror laws at-a-glance
Sellafield
Nuclear plants will be better protected
The measures outlined in the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill cover a number of areas:

Tracking terrorist funds

The bill allows "account monitoring orders" enabling the police to require financial institutions to provide information on accounts for up to 90 days.

The existing legal duty to report suspicion of terrorist financing will be strengthened so it will be an offence not to report where there were "reasonable grounds" for suspicion.

Law enforcement agencies will be able to freeze assets at the start of an investigation, rather than when the person is about to be charged.

Information sharing

Government agencies such as Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue will be able to pass on information to police and other security services where national security is an issue.

Detention without trial

The home secretary will get the powers to detain suspected international terrorists without trial where their deportation is not possible.

The indefinitely renewable internments require part of the Human Rights Act to be set aside, requiring the home secretary to deem the UK in a state of public emergency.

Detention will be subject to regular independent review by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

New hate crime

The offence of incitement to racial hatred will be amended to include religious hatred with the penalty rising to seven years.

To be prosecuted an offender must use "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour" to stir up hatred against a group of people, in the UK or abroad, because of their religious belief.

Weapons of mass destruction

The law will change to punish those who help foreign groups or regimes to acquire nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

Regulations governing laboratories where "dangerous pathogens" are held will be tightened and the use of biological weapons will become a specific offence for the first time.

The police force who patrol nuclear sites, as well as military and transport police, will get extended powers and jurisdictions.

Communications monitoring

Communications companies will be able to retain information on calls and other communication made by customers such as numbers called or e-mail addresses.

They will not retain the contents of e-mails or phone calls.

Currently companies are obliged to erase data when no longer needed for billing, which has a "severe impact on criminal investigations".

Mass trawls or ¿fishing expeditions¿ will not be permitted under a voluntary code of conduct.

Bribery

The currently laws against bribery will be expanded to include cases involving foreign nationals.

Anti-globalisation campaigners have previously demanded such a measure on the basis UK-based corporations could bribe officials in developing countries with impunity.

No backdating

The bill's measure to combat bioterror hoaxers with up to seven years in prison will no longer be retrospective.

There was criticism that the backdating of the law initially planned would break basic legal principles.

But it is understood that "white powder hoaxes" tailed off after the government announced its intentions to strengthen punishment.

Other measures

The bill will allow law enforcement agencies to see plane passenger manifests and cargo details, a measure which will also help fight people smuggling and drug trafficking.

GCHQ, the communications monitoring intelligence agency, will have their role expanded, while new terrorist taskforces can be created more easily.


Key stories

Background

War view

TALKING POINT

FORUM

SPECIAL REPORTS
 VOTE RESULTS
Are new terror laws justified?

Yes
 55.21% 

No
 44.79% 

5671 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

13 Nov 01 | UK Politics
Anti-terror laws unveiled
12 Nov 01 | UK Politics
Terror detention move under way
12 Nov 01 | UK Politics
Law boosts terror cash crackdown
15 Oct 01 | UK Politics
UK anti-terror measures unveiled
28 Sep 01 | Business
Net closes on terror cash
26 Sep 01 | UK Politics
UK to review extradition measures
20 Sep 01 | UK Politics
EU must act fast on terror - Blunkett
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