14 July 2014 — Liberty
Since our last email, politicians have been busy assuring us that the Government’s “emergency” Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill – “DRIP” – simply maintains the status quo.
Well, the status quo is bad enough. It’s also unlawful, as the EU Court of Justice confirmed in April when it said that blanket data retention was a breach of our basic human rights.
DRIP ignores the Court and recreates blanket surveillance powers that’ll affect all of us – allowing the Government to command retention of the entire population’s communications data for 12 months.
But the Bill goes much further. It grants Ministers astonishing new powers to pursue their thwarted “Snoopers’ Charter” – not just in the UK but across the globe.
It would allow for the expansion of the UK’s interception empire, with overseas companies forced to build interception capabilities into products and infrastructure.
And all this at a time when the Government’s recent forays into mass interception are being challenged by Liberty in the courts.
So the next time a politician promises that DRIP merely preserves existing capabilities, there are only two possibilities…
Either they don’t understand the legislation or, worse still, they’re simply lying.