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What the Queen's speech means for the technology sector

Amid the pomp and tradition of the State opening of Parliament, the Queen's speech covered some very modern problems and issues.

Amongst the number of bills that were read out by the Queen earlier today, one of the most interesting was the Investigatory powers bill. New laws to give police and spies greater powers, and was far wider in scope than was expected.

In a world where seemingly every week we hear fresh news of governments tracking citizens and individuals, or of hacks affecting major corporations, the new law will give new powers to the police and GCHQ to intercept the content of communications. It will also "provide appropriate oversight and safeguard arrangements."

Campaigners of civil liberties have responded to the bill, arguing that it will pave the way for an Orwellian society, subjected to mass surveillance. The bill is expected to be unpopular in the post Edward Snowden world.

Speaking with the BBC, Jim Killock, executive director of The Open Right Group, said: " The government is signalling that it wants to press ahead with increased powers of data collection and retention for the police and GCHQ, spying on everyone, whether suspected of a crime or not."

Despite the bill allowing the authorities to monitor your internet use, Downing Street defended the measures and argued that the bill would provide the authorities with the "tools to keep you and your family safe".

Another bill, although not directly related to the technology sector, the National insurance contributions bill/finance bill will affect those working within the sector. in the bill, the Queen outlined the Conservative pledge to prevent the government from increasing income tax rates, VAT or nations insurance for five years after the election.

More welcome news for business was delivered in the Enterprise bill, where it was said that the government will establish a small business conciliation service to deal with B2B disputes without having to involve the courts. This will no doubt be music to the ears of any small start up or SMB, as court disputes can become nasaty, drawn out and expensive affairs.

For a full run down and a synopsis of all the bills click here (opens in new tab).