Thursday, 22 January 2015

I feel another letter coming on

Mike Adams says, in Little Atoms:

Peers launch attempt to make rejected Snooper’s Charter law

Four backbench Peers are attempting to introduce key measures from the controversial draft Communications Data Bill into law by amending the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill to include the majority of its clauses.

You remember that bill? The one that was going to introduce that terrifying surveillance and was defeated because it couldn’t be justified?  The one they tried to sneak in at the last minute so MPs wouldn’t have time to read it before voting?  And for which there was a three-line-whip anyway?  The cross-party committee decided that:

“we believe that the draft Bill pays insufficient attention to the duty to respect the right to privacy, and goes much further than it need or should for the purpose of providing necessary and justifiable official access to communications data.”

Apparently it is now suddenly justified after all.

The Peers - Lord Carlisle, Lord King, Lord Blair, Lord West - have tabled amendments which if passed will grant the intelligence agencies in the UK the most draconian surveillance powers of any established democracy.

They’re not trying to get the whole bill through, though.  They’ve removed the bits about oversight. And they haven’t addressed any of the concerns raised by the cross-party committee.

If the legislation passes, it will grant the Home Secretary the power to retain the personal communications data of every citizen in the UK for an undefined purpose for up to a year. ISPs could be forced to build server farms to capture all data as it is transmitted and received. Manufacturers of communications equipment could be forced to install hardware such as ‘black boxes’ on their products to make spying easier and by default. The scale of this state surveillance will place the UK in line with countries such as Kazakhstan, China and Iran and could place the UK on a collision course with the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice.

The proposal has again been submitted at the last minute ensuring that the Lords won’t have time to consider it.

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