The new legislation is intended to modernize the country’s outdated counterintelligence rules. The United Kingdom announced that the maximum penalty for spying will rise from 14 years old to life under the new legislation, as reported in The Telegraph.
Patel introduced the prime priorities of the Queen’s Speech legislative programme by writing an article meant for Telegraph.
The Bill will for the first time make it an offense to be covert foreign spy on American soil. We will establish a new offense for foreign interference to stop illegal interference activities that are carried out for or on behalfof foreign states. Patel reported that a new sabotage offense will be introduced to better respond to state-backed attacks against sites, data, or infrastructure crucial to the UK’s safety.
The Telegraph reported in another article that the UK’s new legislation will make espionage punishable with life imprisonment.
The UK’s counterintelligence rules were originally created to combat the threat from German spy during the First World War. New legislation, however, should address foreign spying that has become “even more sophisticated” and varied in recent years.
Patel added that the new legislation would also address cyberintelligence, as well as other modern technology usages with the aim of harming the UK.