Cross-post from Liberty
There has definitely been no Government climbdown on surveillance.
The draft Investigatory Powers Bill, announced today, constitutes an astonishing assault on all of our internet security.
Some highlights: communication service providers will be required to store details of every website we visit for a year (haven’t we been here before?); provisions for the intelligence agencies to acquire information in bulk; new powers allowing police and security services to hack into our devices and networks (spoiler alert: this is terrifying); and a rubber-stamp version of ‘judicial oversight’ that would be funny if this wasn’t a hugely important issue that will affect every man, woman and child in the country.
Surveillance powers can play an important role in preventing and detecting serious crime. But Theresa May’s proposals would bring breathtakingly broad mass surveillance powers into law without providing sufficient safeguards against abuse.
This isn’t about choosing between security and privacy – it’s about striking the balance between privacy and surveillance, which is a very different thing altogether. For example, we expect the State to obtain a warrant before entering our homes, never mind searching them and taking away our belongings. Why should it be any different with our communications?
As ever greater amounts of our lives are stored, shared and sent online, a detailed and intimate picture of you can be pieced together – revealing much more than any search through your bedside drawer. Don’t we all deserve some basic protections?
These crime-fighting tools can be used in a way that both keeps us safe and respects our privacy – but it’s clear the draft Investigatory Powers Bill has not achieved that balance. This is a significant opportunity for us all to shape our laws for the better – which is why need you to add your voice.
The more of you we have behind our campaign, the bigger our collective voice is.
The Open Rights Group are also concerned about this issue – click here to get involved with their campaign.by