A worrying new anti-terror law is sneaking through Parliament – UK Human Rights Blog

[Image: David Icke (he might think the Royal Family are lizards but he's got a point about this).]

[Image: David Icke (he might think the Royal Family are lizards but he’s got a point about this).]

Our security services are under pressure and seeking new powers, it is reported by Angela Patrick on the UK Human Rights Blog.

The spectre of the Communications Data Bill is again evoked. These reports mirror renewed commitments yesterday to new counter-terrorism measures for the EU and in France.

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill completed its fast-track progress through the House of Commons earlier this week, after a handful of days’ debate and only six weeks after its publication in late November. In a departure from ordinary procedure, the Bill will have its Second Reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday.

A quick consideration of its contents illustrates the seriousness and breadth of the proposals it contains:

  • The Bill will introduce a power for the Secretary of State to exclude a UK citizen from returning to the UK, except on conditions stipulated by the Minister. Early announcements by the Prime Minister promised a new “exile” for terrorist suspects travelling overseas to Syria and Iraq; after the publication of the Bill and likely consideration of legal advice, Ministers now seek “managed return” (Chapter 2) (See further below).
  • The Government proposes that police and immigration authorities should have new powers to seize passports at ports and airports (Chapter 1) (See further below) .
  • The Bill makes new provision for the extension of TPIMs orders under the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act, including to reintroduce old ‘control-order’ powers of relocation formerly criticised as a form of “internal exile”, permitting the Secretary of State to move a person suspected of involvement in terrorist activity to a place of her choosing up to 200 miles from their home (Clause 12).   The Bill will provide that the ordinary civil standard of proof that must apply when a TPIMs order is made by the Secretary of State – she must be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a person is more likely than not to be involved in terrorism related activity (Clause 16).
  • It also adds to the controversial surveillance powers in the Data Retention and Investigation Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA), requiring internet service providers to collect and retain additional data about their users, including communications data and/or other relevant data which can be used to identify the user of a particular IP address any particular time (Clause 17). It appears that the power to inspect goods is to be amended to permit the interception of mail without a warrant (Clause 35).
  • It would introduce a new Privacy and Civil Liberties Board to assist in the oversight of surveillance and counter-terrorism legislation. However, even after debate in the House of Commons, it is far from clear what the functions or membership of this body will be, how it will relate to the work of the Independent Reviewer and whether it will add any value to the existing limited provisions for the scrutiny of Government work in counter-terrorism and national security (Clause 36).
  • Finally, the Bill will introduce broad new powers – principally in secondary legislation – which will permit the Secretary of State to direct a range of public bodies, including schools, universities and local authorities, to take steps to “prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” (Part 5).

Yet, even before Paris rightly dominated the headlines, the Bill’s progress attracted little public or press attention. Briefings of organisations like JUSTICE rarely spark the excitement of the mainstream press. Given the support in principle of the official opposition for many of these measures, there seems little political excitement for journalists to report.

The full report is on the UK Human Rights Blog.

We should be more disturbed by this. Given the rise of claims – perhaps by rabid conspiracy theorists, perhaps not – that the Charlie Hebdo atrocity was a ‘false flag’ attack, carried out by a Western security service in order to lay the blame on somebody else, perhaps we should all be hawkish about our governments’ responses to these incidents.

In the UK, considering its silence, it seems the Labour Party may be complicit. Let’s have a statement of Labour’s position on this, please.

Are our politicians creating the perception of a problem, simply so they can ‘solve’ it with more draconian powers that severely limit the freedoms of their own people, rather than actually fighting terrorism?

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10 thoughts on “A worrying new anti-terror law is sneaking through Parliament – UK Human Rights Blog

  1. hugosmum70

    with all that is happening in France and with Al Quieda making threats on Britain,its hard to know what to allow and what not to allow. think back to the 2 world wars. and the posters, and all the stuff that was hush hush. the imprisoning of Jews, and other groups over here. some,like Jews.for their own safety,others for others safety. they had committed no crimes but deemed a threat or in danger. now its a whole new ball game. how ,much is this govt taking advantage of the situation to get thru parliament those laws they want to go thru,like the data/internet/free speech one and how much is genuinely going to be used to track down those people… and how many innocents, voicing what we all feel about the govt, are going to find themselves subject to those secret courts we keep hearing about..but on the other end of the scale, how else can they track down those people planning/carrying out these atrocities. its getting very very scary now lets face it.

  2. Thomas

    I don’t think this was a false flag attack as such-for a start it happened in France, but I do think the UK Government will take advantage of it. All they would need is an attack like that in the UK and they could use it to justify abolishing civil liberties.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The idea that it was a false flag attack means that the French security services were suspected of having carried it out.

  3. Andy

    It would appear that terrorists are not so very different from our own government in their aim to curb our freedom of speach and civil liberties. It’s just governments use different tactics.

  4. concernedkev

    Tell me I did not imagine it but on one news bulletin they informed us that the French police had found the ID card of one of the brothers in the abandoned car. The FBI found a passport of one the alleged hijackers in the rubble at ground zero it was dusty and not a bit scorched to say it had fallen out his pocket and fluttered to the floor below from the horrendous conditions hundreds of feet up. If it is what is suggested a “False Flag” then we should try and find out how and when this legislation was accelerated. Did someone jump the gun???????????

  5. Helen Gale

    Whether it was a false flag or not is irrelevant, the UK gov will use it to pass these bills into law, they have been trying ever since 911 and 7/7 to get these controls over the populations. Also it is amazing how many conspiracy theories turn out to be conspiracy facts. Operation Gladio, Bay of Pigs etc. Why anyone would trust any government is beyond me.

  6. amnesiaclinic

    France has been pushing into Libya and Africa and acting in a vey colonial manner again. Libya was totally destroyed in the NATO and RAF ‘humanitarian’ bombing as Gaddhafi was organising the African states to become independent of the dollar and the US.
    There is also the aspect that things were getting very hot in the andrew revelations and this has nicely buried it.
    Diana and Paris?
    Lots to look at and mull over but there are the same fundamental errors which surface in all the false flags. It’s a matter of paying attention to the detail and joining up the dots.


  7. Nigel Craddock

    It is indeed, ‘hard to know what to think’ as a commentator states above. However, if politicians weren’t, on the whole, thieving cheating, lying bunch of expletives then perhaps we would know sufficient to have some idea. Propaganda comes home to roost. I wouldn’t believe a politician if s/he told me my name correctly.

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