Tag Archives: ripa

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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Julian Huppert MP writes… Communications data: we have to get this right

Many years ago my father gave me some advice: ‘don’t get it right, get it written’. If you want to do something properly you need to have a draft. That way you can go back and improve it.

Today sees the publication of the Draft Communications Data Bill. It is a first version, not a final text, and one which will be given the time and proper processes to change. It’s hard to overemphasise how different that is to the usual Parliamentary process.

A special Select Committee will go through the issues raised in the Bill, and make suggestions on how to improve it. I’ll be on that Committee, and between now and November we will be asking experts and members of the public to comment on it, and suggest where it needs to be changed.

It’s thanks to Lib Dem pressure that we now have a vital opportunity to get this right. If left to itself, the Home Office would simply have announced this Bill – or something worse – as a fait accompli, and whipped people to support it. Nick Clegg intervened to stop that from happening.

And already the Draft Bill is better than the one the Home Office proposed, as revealed a few months ago. Already there are more safeguards than there were going to be – but we are not there yet.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 26 Comments

Julian Huppert MP writes: What does the Queen’s Speech mean for civil liberties?

So – how does the Queen’s Speech rate for those of us who care about civil liberties? Well, there’s some excellent news, and some areas where we need to keep working to get the right result.

First, we have fantastic news about libel reform. I am delighted that the Defamation Bill will finally come into being. As Liberal Democrats we have long made the case that our libel laws are out-dated and in desperate need of improvement.  Our current system unfairly favours the rich because the cost of lawsuits means ordinary people find it very difficult to defend themselves against false …

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Tom Brake MP writes… A landmark achievement in fight for our civil liberties

Today the Protection of Freedoms Bill became an Act: a landmark for the campaign to roll back Labour’s surveillance state. Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for this piece of legislation, proposing a “Freedom Bill” more than five years ago when Nick Clegg was the party’s Home Affairs Spokesman.

The Act will protect millions of people from unwarranted state intrusion in their private lives, building on some of the things we’ve already achieved like the ending of ID cards and the destruction of the National Identity Register.

I just want to highlight a couple of things that will now happen. …

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The Interception of Communications Commissioner has failed

I’ve been reading through all the annual reports issues by the Interception of Communications Commissioner since the passage of Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. He is meant to make sure that the powers granted to public bodies under RIPA to intercept our communications are being used correctly.

The annual reports are not a pretty read, especially when set against a modicum of knowledge about the outside world during the years the reports cover. Consider the following.

1. No scrutiny of the costs system

First, under RIPA there is provision for the government to pay communication service providers costs for meeting the …

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Liblink: Paddy Ashdown says Snoopers’ Charter breaches the Coalition Deal

Writing in today’s Times, former leader Paddy Ashdown, a key ally of Nick Clegg, has condemned Government’s proposals to increase internet surveillance and warned that we must not “part company with our principles.”

He wrote:

The Government claims that it will have unfettered access only to “data” (ie, sender, recipient, time and duration) rather than content, so this does not constitute “a communications interception”. That is sophistry.

It is one of our rights as free citizens to talk to whom we wish, when we wish and wherever we wish without the State knowing about it, unless there is good cause for it to

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , , and | 4 Comments

Why RIPA is flawed

Greg Callus’s excellent post dissects in documented detail some of the problems with the RIPA regulatory mechanism – and why therefore simply extending the range of data that can be accessed under RIPA would be extending the range of data that can be accessed without proper control.

In particular:

Sometimes, there isn’t time for a written request because of an imminent threat to life and limb, and so the Urgent Oral procedure kicks in – the SPoC will normally be rudely awoken by a police officer explaining they have (eg) an urgent terrorism/kidnapping situation, and they need a notification to be

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments
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