See if YOUR objection is mentioned in the Surveillance Bill debate!

internet-surveillance

It seems Parliament’s discussion of the Data Retention and Investigatory Bill, also known as the Surveillance Bill, will now take place tomorrow (Tuesday) rather than today (Monday).

This works better for Yr Obdt Srvt, who has carer-related business today and would not have been able to watch the debate.

Hopefully, many Vox Political readers – if not all – have emailed or tweeted MPs, calling on them to speak and vote against the Bill which, while only reinstating powers the government has already been using, is a totally unacceptable infringement of our freedom that is being imposed in a totally unacceptable timeframe.

As has been discussed here previously, the Bill enshrines in law Theresa May’s ‘Snooper’s Charter’, requiring telecommunications companies to keep a complete record of all your telephone and Internet communications for examination by politicians.

The information to be kept includes the location of people you call, the date and time of the call, and the telephone number called.

It seems the Bill is intended to be a response to a European ruling in April, making the valid point that the government’s current behaviour is an invasion of citizens’ privacy. Clearly, therefore, the Coalition government is determined to continue invading your privacy.

The judgement of the European Court of Justice is being overridden and the Conservative-led Coalition is making no attempt to find a reasonable compromise between the need for security and the right of privacy.

The fact that David Cameron has waited more than three months before putting this on the Parliamentary timetable, during a time when MPs have had very little to discuss, indicates that he wanted to offer no opportunity for civil society to be consulted on the proposed law or consider it in any way.

Cameron wanted to restrict our freedom to question this restriction of our freedoms.

Another reason given for the haste is that foreign-based Internet and phone companies were about to stop handing over the content of communications requested by British warrants – but service providers have confirmed that this was a lie. No companies had indicated they would delete data or reject a UK interception warrant.

Ignoring the fact that this does nothing to support your privacy, at least it does completely undermine Mr Cameron’s case for rushing through the legislation.

He is offering concessions – but they are not convincing and nobody should be fooled into thinking that they make this Bill acceptable. However:

A possibility of restrictions on retention notices is not clarified in the text of the Bill, and is therefore meaningless; and

The ‘sunset clause’ for the Bill’s provisions does not come into effect for two and a half years, by which time (we can assume) the government is hoping everybody will have forgotten about it and it can be renewed with a minimum of fuss. This is how your freedoms are taken away – behind your back.

If you have not yet contacted your MP, you are advised to do so.

If you lose your right to privacy – especially to this government – you won’t get it back.

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10 thoughts on “See if YOUR objection is mentioned in the Surveillance Bill debate!

  1. Emma Waites

    disgusting, i wonder if the rest of the country is even bothered, you tell them its for their safety and every thing is ok by them. not sure which disgusts me most…

  2. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady

    It’s funny isn’t it, the government are very covetous of releasing information they have like the DWP mortality statistics and yet in terms of data protection, they are doing the equivalent of rifling through our knicker drawer!

  3. Lloyd Kennedy

    I have emailed Francis Maude twice with regard to how he will be voting regarding this issue . I’m guessing that William Hill would give me very short odds that he’ll subserviently do as Cameron tells him .

  4. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady

    P.S. Just e mailed my MP (Jenny Willott Lib Dem) to ask her to bring my concerns about the Data Retention Investigatory Powers bill to the PM, Deputy PM and Home Secretary; although whether she’ll have time to read it before tomorrow, who knows!

  5. jaypot2012

    I’m feeling really down today – due to the main part by pain, but also due to the fact that the people of this country don’t actually care what happens to us…

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