The Government’s Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP)  is much more than a replacement for existing regulations, campaign group NO2ID  warns.
Though is being brought forward ostensibly to meet the ‘emergency’ of previous powers being declared unlawful by the European Court of Justice in April , the Bill DOES NOT not restate the previous Data Retention Regulations. It gives future Home Secretaries sweeping new powers to order telephone and internet companies to keep almost any sort of information about their users. It covers some of the same ground as the ‘snooper’s charter’ the controversial Communications Data Bill dropped earlier in this parliament because of civil liberties and privacy concerns.
The coalition government in its first public pronouncement said: ‘We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason’. But it has not done anything to change the prevailing situation, until now.
Guy Herbert, General Secretary of NO2ID said:
Cyncism from the Home Office; hypocrisy or naivety from ministers. A synthetic opportunity has been created to rush through new, highly technical powers, without giving MPs a chance to understand the implications, under the pretence of retaining old ones. (Old ones that were themselves unconstitutional in other European countries.)
This is a classic database state scheme for mass surveillance that can be indefinitely modified once it is on the statute book. A DRIP can easily become a torrent
Notes for editors:
1) Full text here:
2) NO2ID is the UK national campaign against the database state, the tendency to try to use computers to manage society by maintaining state files on people. www.no2id.net
3) See, eg BBC ‘Top EU court rejects EU-wide data retention law’ 8 April 2014
4) ‘The Coalition: our programme for government’ May 2010, p11.
5) Romania and Germany both had constitutional courts strike down the regulations in the last decade.
For further information, or for immediate or future interview, please contact:
Guy Herbert [London] (General Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org) on 07956 544 308
James Baker [Leeds/Manchester] (Campaigns Manager, email@example.com) on 07817 605 162