The government is planning to reintroduce the Investigatory Powers Bill to Parliament on Tuesday, despite a string of damning reports suggesting that the proposed legislation is flawed.
The Bill has also drawn practical complaints from internet service providers (ISPs) that the proposals will impose extra costs on a sector that already operates on razor-thin margins. But home secretary Theresa May is determined to push the legislation through Parliament in under two months.
The draft Bill will formally give the UK's secret services sweeping powers to monitor people's web browsing, and oblige ISPs to keep detailed records of browsing histories for up to a year.
A report in The Independent said that government whips have informed their opposite numbers that the Bill will be published on 1 March, while the second reading will come just two weeks later. The committee stage is set for 22 March, and a final vote making the Bill law will come before the end of April.
Some ISPs have suggested that the Bill's onerous new responsibilities will put many smaller ISPs out of business.
David Davis MP, who resigned from the opposition front bench in 2008 to force the issue of identity cards to the forefront, and who has been consigned to the backbenches ever since, said that there is "no doubt" that the government plans to use the cover of the EU referendum to force through the Bill.
"When you work it out, it's a 300-page Bill so that's something like five seconds to consider each line on second reading," said Davis. He added that there was "no operational reason to rush it through".
The government's keenness to make the legislation law comes despite a series of critical reports and widespread opposition.
The Science and Technology Committee called on the government in early February to clarify a series of vague terms and phrases in the draft Bill to clear up "significant confusion" among ISPs and others over the scope of the proposals.
The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) went as far as to suggest that the Bill was so riddled with problems that it should be withdrawn and rewritten.
The ISC listed plenty of concerns. It would like to see "class bulk personal data set warrants" removed from the documents, and baulks at the definition of 'communications data', which it describes as "currently inconsistent and confusing".
The Bill has also been criticised by a range of big technology and communications companies concerned not just about the extra costs that the Bill will entail but the implications for encryption and privacy.
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