Snooper’s Charter gets thumbs down
The Joint Committee of MPs and Lords today published its report into the draft Communications Data Bill, otherwise dubbed the Snooper’s Charter. The Committee has spent six months scrutinising the proposals, receiving a substantial amount of oral and written evidence. The final report is available from the Joint Committee website.
As predicted yesterday (news passim), the Joint Committee has given the draft Bill the thumbs down, stating that it pays “insufficient attention to the duty to respect the right to privacy, and goes much further than it need or should”.
Furthermore, the committee report is extremely critical of the Home Office, calling their figures “fanciful and misleading”.
In addition to these criticisms, the report reckons the overall cost to the taxpayer is likely to exceed the predicted £1.8 bn. “by a considerable margin”.
Finally, both the Joint Committee and the Intelligence and Security Committee were critical the lack of consultation by the Home Office. Indeed, some major ISPs and communications providers were not consulted at all and were only sent a copy of the draft Bill after its publication.
In conclusion, both the Joint Committee and the Intelligence and Security Committee believe that the Home Office’s proposals need rethinking.
Nevertheless, Home Secretary Theresa May is adamant that the new powers rejected by both committees are needed to help catch terrorists, paedophiles and cyber-criminals.
According to BBC News, a spokesman for the prime minister said the PM accepted the criticism from MPs and peers of the draft Communications Data Bill and would re-write it.
In view of the PM’s views, we are forced to ask the following question: what do you call an organisation that ignores the views of 2 parliamentary committees? Answer: Her Majesty’s Government. 🙂