Today is the first meeting of the Joint Committee on the Draft Communications Data Bill. Over the next few months, we’ll be taking evidence from key witnesses, and making recommendations to the Government about how the Bill should change.
As I’m sure you all know, the Bill as it stands is simply unacceptable. It’s vital, therefore, that we’re asking the right questions and posing the right, technical solutions from the off.
The Committee will run a formal, public call for evidence starting very shortly. The more evidence we get, the better, so my first request is that every single Member with an interest in these issues, whether you’re a technical expert or you know a thing or two about state surveillance, should reply to the call for evidence. What is effective is information and evidence-based arguments, not rants! We need to convince Members of the Committee of our position, and the only way to do that is to deploy reasoned, well-informed arguments.
In addition, Paul Strasburger and I will be working with the Committee over the next week or two on the framework of our investigation. We’ll be deciding which witnesses to call, working on questions and debating the effect of the Bill as it stands.
To help inform our work, I’d be grateful if Members who have specific questions, concerns and comments on the draft Bill could email us. I’m sure numerous Members are concerned about this Bill, so apologies if I don’t have time to reply to all of you, but it would be great if we can use our Party’s expertise to frame the debate and get the changes we need.
So if you have specific questions which the committee needs to address, please email them to [email protected]
* Julian Huppert is Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge.