Today brought news that the High Court has ruled the government surveillance law, introduced in the last throes of the previous government, to be unlawful. The act required communications companies to keep data on their customers for a year and provide access to police and government agencies.
The Green Party’s manifesto stated we would:
Oppose any case for secret unaccountable mass surveillance of the type exposed by Edward Snowden. We do accept that government law enforcement agencies may occasionally need to intercept communications in specific circumstances. Such specific surveillance should be proportionate, necessary, effective and within the rule of law, with independent judicial approval and genuine parliamentary oversight.
Specifically the High Court ruled that the act “does not lay down clear and precise rules providing for access to and use of communications data” and should be “disapplied”.
The ruling means the act is suspended until April 2016, during which time the government will try to adapt the implementation.