Have Labour MPs betrayed the British public by supporting the ‘snoopers’ charter’?

160510 Westminster

This is deeply disturbing.

It seems Labour has helped the Tories gain a right to snoop on all of us, for the sake of a few concessions that may not be worth the paper they’ll be written on.

Just how, exactly, does the Parliamentary Labour Party expect privacy to be at the heart of legislation that allows bulk interception of communications and collection of data, and bulk hacking into our computers?

The whole point of the Investigatory Powers Bill (its real name) is to deprive us of our privacy.

Perhaps a Labour spokesperson should come forward and explain how this oppressive legislation is supposed to be in anybody’s interests, other than those of the Conservative Government and big business?

What a betrayal.

On 7 June a bill passed in parliament that threatens the fundamental rights of everyone in the UK. But it seems that only around 25% of the population is aware of its existence, giving MPs the opportunity to take an axe to our autonomy largely without our knowledge.

The Investigatory Powers (IP) bill, more commonly known as the Snoopers Charter, passed through its latest stage in the commons by 444 to 69 votes. Its success was sealed when many Labour MPs chose to support it after winning some concessions to the government’s spying proposals, including:

An overarching privacy clause to ensure that privacy is at the heart of the Bill

Although this a comforting soundbite, it’s deceptive. Privacy is indeed at the heart of the IP bill, but it will destroy privacy rather than protect it. It is designed to secure immense surveillance powers for the UK’s security services, and other public bodies. The proposals include allowing bulk interception of communications, bulk collection of communications data – meaning ‘metadata’ which is essentially the data about data – and bulk equipment interference– aka hacking.

Indeed, ‘bulk’ gathering of information seems to be a major point of the IP bill. As Bella Sankey, Director of Policy for Liberty, explains:

This Bill would create a detailed profile on each of us which could be made available to hundreds of organisations to speculatively trawl and analyse. It will all but end online privacy, put our personal security at risk and swamp law enforcement with swathes of useless information.

Home Secretary Theresa May has agreed to have an independent review of these ‘bulk’ powers undertaken. This review will be headed by David Anderson QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation. Essentially, he is tasked with investigating whether collecting the electronic information of everyone is a beneficial way of fighting crime.

But as The Intercept has recently reported even the UK spies themselves have warned that collecting to much information is dangerous. The publication released a secret report from the UK’s security service, which stated that MI5:

can currently collect (whether itself or through partners …) significantly more than it is able to exploit fully… This creates a real risk of ‘intelligence failure’ i.e. from the Service being unable to access potentially life-saving intelligence from data that it has already collected.

The IP bill aims to put these deficient data practices on a statutory footing, to legitimise them. But many argue that targeting specific communications, rather than scooping up information on everyone, is a better way to fight crime. It would also ensure that most individuals retain the liberties afforded to them under multiple human rights conventions.

Source: Labour MPs just betrayed the British public, by helping the government pass this toxic bill | The Canary


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7 thoughts on “Have Labour MPs betrayed the British public by supporting the ‘snoopers’ charter’?

  1. Michael Broadhurst

    if this was a proper Labour party,it shouldn’t be supporting any Tory legislation.

  2. Noreen O Driscoll

    We do not live in a democracy any longer This linvasion of peoples privacy by the state and corporationsshould be illegal Whereare the newspaper headlines/campaigns to fight this and the tv documentaries explaining and decrying it? Shocking

  3. paulrutherford8

    A Bill, preparing the way to a corporate dream: control of data *and* politics, enacted by some very powerful people, some very paranoid people, some very greedy people, some very power-hungry people, some very deluded people, some anti-social people, some self-righteous people, a lot of very gullible people, quite a few plain ignorant people… but at the end of the day, nobody seems to *really* give a shit.

    They’re just a bunch of… no, not going there.

    I was just thinking of forming the People’s Liberat… best not go there either.

    If I ever hear voices, I’ll know they’re at the door.

    I have no words for how *I* feel.

  4. Suusi M-B

    Essentially this is the same powers that Labour wanted when the snoopers charter was proposed before 2010.

    In short you have to wonder what political pressure is being put on the UK governments to pass this odious piece of legislation.

    The who is applying this pressure is obvious. The USA with its paranoid delusions.

    The big question is why is the EU membership being debated and a deafening silence about the occupation of the UK, ongoing since 1940, by the US empire?

    A blue business suit is just as much a uniform as the military ones Hugo Boss created for Hitler’s Germany.

Comments are closed.