Tag Archives: communications data bill

LibLink: Brian Paddick – Tackling terrorism without compromising the privacy of law-abiding citizens

Writing on the Liberal Democrat website, Lord Brian Paddick talks through the recent attempted jiggery-pokery in the House of Lords which could have seen the Snoopers Charter

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++ LibDems block Snoopers’ Charter – again

Lib Dems in the House of Lords have, once more, blocked the Snoopers’ Charter.

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Simon Hughes and Nick Clegg oppose Cameron’s Snoopers’ Charter plans – or do they?

Last night, Liberal Democrat Justice Minister Simon Hughes expressed his opposition to David Cameron’s plans to legislate to give security services the right to intercept the internet communications of suspected terrorists.

He said:

It is vital that the police and intelligence agencies are able to investigate and prosecute terrorists, including surveillance of communications. The Liberal Democrats have moved quickly in Government to plug the gaps in existing legislation to bolster these abilities.

Future security measures must be proportionate, justified and necessary – and not trample on our civil liberties. The so-called Snoopers’ Charter, which would see the internet browsing of every single citizen stored for a year, fails these very reasonable precautions.

The idea that you protect free speech by spying on every law-abiding person in this country is a contradiction in terms. You can’t have an open society if you are constantly worried that the state is prying into your daily life.

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Julian Huppert: Internet Hero

Julian Huppert, Lib Dem PPC for Cambridge

Julian Huppert, Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, has been named internet hero of the year by the Internet Service Providers’ Association for his work on the Communications Data Bill. As a further accolade he was described as “one of the few MPs to understand the internet.”

Julian explains why the bill could not be allowed to proceed here, and you can read much more about it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nick Clegg and Julian Huppert are Internet heroes

The Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) has shortlisted both Nick Clegg and Julian Huppert  for it’s Internet Hero award for 2013.

And why? – for the role they both played in preventing the communications data bill from reaching the statute books.

The other two nominees are Edward Snowdon, who was the whistleblower on the PRISM project, and Spamhaus, an IT security organisation who fought off  a major denial of service attack earlier this year.

ISPA Secretary-General Nicholas Lansman noted that the Internet Hero award is “one of the most anticipated categories” at the ISPAs.

Given what has happened in the last year, it is no surprise

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Nick Clegg on Marr: No knee jerk reactions on Syria or snoopers’ charter

The Liberal Democrat Press Office Twitter account rather optimistically thought that Nick Clegg was going to be talking about the party’s new Million Jobs campaign.  As it happens, the G8 summit, snoopers’ charter and Syria took up all the time available.

On Syria, he said that any intervention should be thought through carefully and worked out on an international basis. He described the idea that Britain could solve things by unilateral military intervention as “fanciful.”

On the Snoopers’ Charter, he repeated his stance that the idea of keeping every website we visit is both disproportionate and unworkable and that knee jerk …

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Nick Clegg holds firm on snoopers’ charter

Nick Clegg has indicated that he will not change his position on the so called “snoopers’ charter” despite calls for him to do so by four former home secretaries.  A group of politicians, including Liberal Democrat peer Lord Carlile wrote to the Times (£) to say that the Bill was necessary:

It has always been a requirement, and always will be, that such intrusive intercepts are subject to time-limited warrants. Their use is guided by a strict criterion of necessity and proportionality, and are only permitted to protect national security and counter serious criminal conduct. We find it odd

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The ins and outs of the Snoopers Charter

web snoopers charterYou may be forgiven for being confused over whether the Snoopers Charter (aka the Communications Data Bill)  is in or out.

Back in December Julian Huppert reported that the Joint Committee that was looking at the Bill had unanimously agreed that it would have to be significantly amended to be acceptable. In an article in the Independent he wrote: “We have gone through the Home Office proposals – and the results are damning. The Bill as it is simply cannot proceed. ”

In April, Nick Clegg vetoed the Bill, and

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Opinion: Communications Data Bill is a threat to liberty

The issue of the Communications Data Bill has found its way back into the national debate in the wake of another tragic terrorist attack. We again face the proposition of the government having the power to access vast amounts of data on our online communications and activates.

This Bill would force communications and internet providers to store web browsing history and details of messages sent on social media, webmail, voice calls over the internet and gaming, in addition to emails and phone calls. But also the time, duration, originator and recipient of any communication and the location of …

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“Lib Dems give Mansion Tax threat over terror bill” says Times

Today’s Times carries a story (£), with not very much substance to it, that the Liberal Democrats have threatened to team up with Labour to vote on the Mansion Tax if the Conservatives team up with Labour to force through the Communications Data Bill so loved by Theresa May and which has been rejected by Nick Clegg on 3 occasions now. The first was when he refused to let it in last year’s Queen’s Speech as a full bill, ensuring it received detailed scrutiny by a parliamentary committee. The second was when the Parliamentary Committee rejected the measure out of …

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Simon Hughes and Alex Carlile debate Snoopers’ Charter on Murnaghan

It’s been like Snoopers’ Charter Central this morning.

It didn’t take very long after the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich for politicians of a more authoritarian outlook to be falling over themselves to condemn Nick Clegg for vetoing sweeping measures on Communications data and call for their immediate introduction. LDV’s Stephen Tall dealt with two of them, John Reid and Alex Carlile, by making them his Liberal Villains of the Week, saying:

And then comes the next inevitability: politicians striking a pose as authoritarian strongmen by cravenly giving the jihadists the glory they seek. Two of the usual

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Official: the snoopers’ charter is dead in this parliament

One element missing from the Queen’s Speech was the Communications Data Bill, aka the ‘snoopers’ charter’. No surprise to Lib Dems: Nick Clegg torpedoed it last month.

So I had a momentary spasm of concern to see on ConservativeHome this story from Mark Wallace: The Snoopers’ Charter comes sneaking back. Again.

I asked Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert (who’s played a crucial role in safeguarding civil liberties this parliament, including on this Bill) if there were any truth in it, and got an immediate reply…

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Julian Huppert MP writes…I agree with Nick. He’s right to kill the Snoopers’ Charter

On 18th March 2010 Nick Clegg gave a speech to Privacy International about Lib Dem plans to roll back the surveillance state.  He said:

 The Conservatives talk a good game on privacy but scratch beneath the surface and it is clear they cannot be trusted to roll back Labour’s surveillance state… Only the Liberal Democrats will bring an end to the endless snooping on innocent people.

We committed ourselves at the last election to ending ID cards, curbing CCTV and stopping the Home Office encroachment into our lives. Enough of citizens as suspects. Enough of “endless snooping” by the Government.

One of our …

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Opinion: A reference article for the Communications Data bill

Back in February 2012, I became concerned about rumours of proposed new legislation which would put in place the means for monitoring all UK citizens’ online and mobile communications – legislation which had previously been thrown out as unworkable by opposition parties when the last Labour government tried something similar.

I wrote a policy amendment, appended to Julian Huppert’s Spring 2012 Conference motion on civil liberties, setting out what I hoped would be a good Liberal Democrat position against those – then unseen – proposals. If I’d known then what was to be …

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Opinion: Snoopers Charter about to resurface

Negotiations are currently taking place deep within the coalition that could change our relationship with the internet forever.  The second draft of the Data Communications Bill, or Snoopers Charter is currently being negotiated and if it’s anything like the 1st draft that was rejected in December, it could effectively spell the end of privacy as we know it on the internet.

The Data Communications Data Bill will force internet service providers and other internet businesses to collect and store all of your electronic communications for at least 12 months.  This will include all your emails, websites you’ve visited, Skype calls, social media, telephone calls etc.  …

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An open letter to Jeremy Browne MP…Part 2: Problems at the Home Office

Dear Jeremy,

In part 1 I explained why the Interception of Communications Commissioner is a failed regulator and one the Home Office should be fixing, yet your civil servants have been reluctant to do so. That should give a pause for thought about the proposals Home Office civil servants keep on pushing to extend the ability of the government to snoop on what we do online.

So too should the way in which the Home Office regularly changes its views of what counts as being in the national interest or vital for the fight against crime, and indeed makes outlandish claims …

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Times: ‘Cameron is told to drop snooping on web users’

Today’s Times front page is dominated by the news that nine cyber-security experts and academics have issued a stark warning to David Cameron to halt ‘sweeping plans to hand the security services the power to snoop on emails, website visits and social media sites’: “they remain as naive and technically dangerous as when they were floated by the last government,” they warn.

times web snooping

The paper notes the opposition both of Nick Clegg — who highlighted his disagreement with the draft Bill last December — and of Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert, who points out: “Where we lead, other countries would follow, snooping on their citizens’ legal activities. … The case for these proposals is massively out-weighed by the cost and the harm to privacy, here and overseas.”

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An open letter to Jeremy Browne MP on civil liberties… Part 1: The failed regulator

Dear Jeremy

I doubt that in amongst all the ludicrously large number of issues that pass across the desk of a minister, and a Home Office one no less, you will have noticed a small victory I scored over the Home Office recently.

But I hope you’ll give a pause for thought to the implications of the ruling the Information Commissioner made in my favour over the Home Office (decision notice reference FS50469527).

Partly it’s because of what it says about the never-quite-dead proposals for a huge expansion of monitoring of our online activity. Partly it’s because of what the case reveals …

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Nick Clegg’s ‘Letter from the Leader’: “no use standing up for civil liberties in opposition if you forget all about them in power”

Nick was spoiled for choice this week on which liberal touchstone issues to focus on in his latest weekly missive… Whether to talk about torpedoing of the Draft Data Communications Bill or perhaps his pro-reform/anti-drugs stance following this week’s Home Affairs select committee report — in fact he talks about both, even linking them to his pro-Leveson position. Manna from heaven to Lib Dem activists. The only surprise is that this week’s equal marriage proposals aren’t mentioned…

Do you want the Home Secretary to be able to

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Opinion: The case for increased surveillance hasn’t been made

At the heart of the draft Communications Bill is a drive to make it easier for a range of officials to access information about people’s communications.  The Home Office maintains that officals need this push-button surveillance in order to help fight emotive crimes such as terrorism and paedophiles.

Despite widespread criticisms of the bill put forward by the Home Office to achieve those ends, most politicians appear to be uncritically accepting their underlying premise – that officials need to be granted more powers to snoop on citizens. Just take for instace Clegg’s statement on the bill:
“They were very clear that …

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Julian Huppert MP writes … Communications Data Bill cannot proceed

Last week the Home Secretary claimed that anyone who opposes the Draft Communications Data Bill, dubbed the Snoopers Charter, was supporting paedophiles and terrorists.

She argued, “Criminals, terrorists and paedophiles will want MPs to vote against this bill. Victims of crime, police and the public will want them to vote for it. It’s a question of whose side you’re on.”

We’ve heard that argument before. Tony Blair used similar arguments to

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Is this the week Nick Clegg will ditch support for the draft Data Communications Bill?

The days of the draft Data Communications Bill (aka internet snoopers’ charter) may well be numbered if reports in the last few days are true that Nick Clegg is about to ditch the controversial plans. Here’s the BBC’s James Landale:

Party sources say leader Nick Clegg is ready to use a parliamentary report, due out next week, to oppose the plans. The draft Communications Data Bill would allow police access to details of people’s email and internet use,

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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 …

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Information Commissioner sounds warning over Draft Communications Data Bill

An important intervention today in the debate over the Draft Communications Data Bill. The Information Commissioner has issued a strongly-worded warning about its impact if implemented:

Plans to monitor all Britons’ online activity risk uncovering “incompetent criminals and accidental anarchists” rather than serious offenders, the information commissioner has warned…

Christopher Graham said the “really scary people” could simply avoid detection by changing their behaviour…

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