Oh dear. Interception of Communications Commissioner does it again

I’ve blogged just once or twice or thrice about the many failings of the Interception of Communications Commissioner and his dreadful record, failing to ask the right questions, unwilling to investigate evidence of widespread abuses and ignoring questions over cost.

And now he’s spoken out over the highly controversial Draft Communications Data Bill – not against its extensive online snooping provisions or even to call for stronger safeguards (such as to remedy his own failures to look into strong evidence that the existing rules have been regularly broken). No, instead he’s called for the powers to be even more widely extended:

Ministers have said the [provisions of the Draft Communications Data Bill are] only to allow the police, the security services and tax officials to tackle terrorism and serious crime.

The proposals will stop local authorities and hundreds of other agencies from accessing such records.

But Sir Paul, whose job is to check such powers are being used appropriately, said the powers should not be limited to law enforcement agencies.

That attitude is in marked contrast to the Information Commissioner who, quite rightly, has been stressing the importance of protecting people’s privacy and the big risks in extending online monitoring.

Good thing the Interception of Communications Commissioner is only in post for a few more months really.

* Mark Pack is Party President and is the editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire.

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One Comment

  • The BBC are reporting that in her evidence to the Select Committee taking evidence on the Bill, Theresa May claimed that of the 30,000 urgent requests for information made last year 25 – 40% resulted in lives being saved. Has she been misreported, because this is frankly completely unbelievable? Did anyone on the committee pick up on this figure? If she actually said it did it not occur to her to wonder what it actually meant? It implies that prior to RIPA thousands of people in this country must have been dying every year because the police and security forces did not have the ability to monitor communications to the same extent. I really don’t remember that, and my memory goes back to the 50s.

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