Theresa May sports that ‘just woke up’ look.

Carlyn Harvey in The Canary is absolutely correct. By advising a change to arbitrary interpretations of the damage caused – and rejecting any ‘public interest’ defence – the Law Commission is targeting whistleblowers and opening the UK up to corruption further corruption.

Hopefully these recommendations will be amended out of any legislation but we should not be relying on that.

It is outrageous that a publicly-constituted organisation such as the Law Commission should reject the interests of the public in this way.

Theresa May’s government is overhauling the 100-year-old Official Secrets Act. Last updated in 1989, the Official Secrets Act determines what punishment is given to people who leak sensitive government information.

In 2015, the UK government tasked the Law Commission with reviewing the act. On 2 February, the commission published its findings and its alarming ideas for reform.

At present, unauthorised disclosure of classified information carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail. The commission believes the maximum sentence should be raised. The Telegraph reports potentially up to 14 years. And while currently the law only applies to UK citizens, the commission advises it should apply to anyone, anywhere in the world.

It also reviewed current classifications of what constitutes ‘damage’ from a leak. And it proposes that “information that affects the economic well-being of the United Kingdom in so far as it relates to national security” should be included.

Furthermore, the commission advises on measuring such damage. It concludes that actual damage doesn’t matter. Rather, it believes that leakers’ understanding of whether their actions could cause damage should be used as the measure.

And it advises against the introduction of a statutory public interest defence. Instead it suggests a scheme whereby concerns can be raised with the independent Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

Source: May’s government is overhauling a 100-year-old law, and it could kill off our last sliver of democracy | The Canary

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook