Analysis: The second reading of the bill took place on 15 March.
The Investigatory Powers Bill saw its second reading in parliament on 15 March, but the controversy around it is raging on.
The bill will provide the UK Government with new far-reaching abilities to legally conduct surveillance on citizens, including tracking their activity online. The Government claims that the new powers will help it prevent terrorist attacks.
Nonetheless, it has attracted significant criticism, including from the Intelligence and Security Committee, particularly over a lack of clarity in the definitions included in the text.
If recent surveys are anything to go by, there is considerable opposition among UK citizens to the bill, but it is not clear that it is a key issue for many of them.
A survey by Open Xchange of 1000 UK citizens found only 23 percent of respondents believing that the introduction of the bill is justified. Only 12 percent, meanwhile, believed that the impact of the bill had been adequately explained or that a balanced argument for its introduction had been given.
Many questioned the right of the government to pass such a bill, with only 26 percent believing that Theresa May had the right to pass such legislation.
However, despite the considerable opposition, only 25 percent said that they would be less likely to support a political party if it mainly voted for the bill.
The opposition grows starker when looking at those working with computers on a day-to-day basis; only 34 percent of IT security professionals support government surveillance for national security, according to a survey of 1,500 such workers by AlienVault.
"There are very real costs, both tangible and intangible, to the UK if this bill is not implemented properly from the get go," said Jacob Ginsberg, Senior Director, Echoworx, criticising the speed at which the bill was being pushed through parliament.
"In the short term, I cannot see how security conscious cloud and hosting companies can continue business in the UK. In the longer term, as new technologies and means of communication arise, UK citizens need to know that their rights and safety are top of mind for the government."
Within parliament, Andy Burnham of Labour, the Shadow Home Secretary, announced in an interview with the Times that his party would be abstaining on the second reading of the bill.
Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, whose party is voting against the bill, tweeted:
"First Labour abstain on the #IPBill and now the SNP sit on their hands too. If it is only @LibDems in the No lobby tonight then so be it."
The polls mentioned above of course use relatively small sample sizes, so it is not clear how widely they apply and how strong opposition is among the population at large.
For those feeling like they can make no difference as citizens, however, there may be alternative avenues available: in particular, the consumer arena.
It is notable that some of the biggest critics of the bill have been commercial organisations. In January, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo urged the Government to reconsider the law.
In a joint submission to the Investigatory Powers Bill Joint Committee, the firms said: "The actions the UK Government takes here could have far reaching implications – for our customers, for your own citizens, and for the future of the global technology industry."
Across the Atlantic, Apple has been taking a stand against an order that it help the FBI unlock the iPhone of a shooter by creating new software. Again, the language is framed in terms of protecting its customers.
"Customers expect Apple and other technology companies to do everything in our power to protect their personal information, and at Apple we are deeply committed to safeguarding their data."
It is for this reason that some advocacy groups have looked to technology companies and ISPs for leadership in speaking out against the bill.
SumOfUs, a corporate watchdog with worldwide involvement (10 million people have taken action with the group worldwide and 1.5 million in the UK) has run a campaign to try and get BT to weigh in on the debate.
This comes after fellow communications companies Vodafone and EE have come out against the bill.
Hanna Thomas, Campaign Manager at SumOfUs, argues that the bill’s requirement for records to be collected and stored will "leave us wide open to leaks and hacks of our data".
"It’s really enshrining into law everything that Edward Snowden leaked, and making those practices of mass and blanket surveillance legal. That’s a clear contravention of the convention on human rights."
Thomas has previously called the bill a "cynical power-grab", and cites the bill giving local authorities power to use mass surveillance to fight benefit fraud as an example of how the bill is overstepping its reasonable boundaries.
Thomas told CBR that commercial organisations should look at the example of Apple, which she says has been "roundly rewarded" for its stance on the issues in the US.
"When customers know that companies are standing with them and looking out for the protection of their privacy they are rewarded," she says.
The evidence that this stance could be popular is in support for the petition; 26000 BT customers have signed the petition calling on BT to oppose the bill and 1600 BT shareholders have done so.