Spy law 'needs significant changes'

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Home Secretary Theresa May’s internet monitoring plans desideratum “significant work”, a committee has ruled.

The draft Investigatory Powers Pecker will force internet service providers to store all web activity for a year.

It desire also authorise the bulk collection of personal data and hacking of smartphones by Britain’s spies.

Curs say the changes will help to catch terrorists and tackle organised felony by updating laws to fit the new technology being used by criminals.

But civil rights cam igners claim the measures contained in it amount to mass surveillance of UK residents – and that the committee’s report meant the home secretary needed to go “disavow to the drawing board”.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: “This document shows just how much homework the government has to do on this landmark legislation.”

Drudge’s shadow home secretary Andy Burnham has written to Mrs May to say that while Slavery supports the overall aim of the bill – to give police and security services the powers they prerequisite – the government must now take time to reconsider its plans to ensure they agree “the right balance for our security and privacy”.

‘World-leading oversight’

Mrs May said the command would “carefully consider” the conclusions of three committees which maintain reported on the Bill before presenting its final proposals.

“This is pivotal legislation, and we are absolutely determined to get it right.

“Our draft Bill followed three self-sufficient reports on investigatory powers, whose authors were unanimous a new law was compulsory.

“We are clear we need to introduce legislation which responds to the threats we confronting in the digital age, protects both the privacy and security of the public, and provides world-leading management and safeguards.”


Analysis by BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera

Everyone agrees a new law repressing surveillance powers is required but the devil is in the detail, as a series of rliamentary sign ins have illustrated.

The existing law, all agree, is complex and lacking in trans rency but all the suggestions are that the new one has not yet overcome this problem entirely.

The issue now is how far the Home Thing takes on board some of the criticisms and whether there is enough once upon a time to do so – a final bill is due to be introduced soon so that it can be debated and ssed by the end of the year.

Review more from Gordon.


The Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers per money said in a 194 ge report it was satisfied the value of so-called Internet Association contact Records to law enforcement agencies “could outweigh the intrusiveness involved in convening and using them”.

But it echoed concerns from tech firms about the workability of protecting users’ privacy in the way Mrs May has promised, by only collecting the names of websites visited, pretty than individual web ges.

The committee was told this might not be technically realizable, but it said the Home Office was working with the industry to find a colloidal suspension.

‘Dragnet approach’

Ministers must also spell out their contemplates on encryption to ensure that they will not force tech secures to provide a “back door” for spies, the rliamentary committee said.

And the Home Establishment must also provide greater justification for the sweeping up of emails and other internet See trade ssing through the UK by the security services, as revealed by US whistleblower Edward Snowden, and other suspect “bulk” data gathering exercises.

Committee chairman Lord Murphy of Torfaen rephrased the Home Office had a “significant amount of further work to do before rliament can be cool that the provisions have been fully thought through”.

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The bill was criticised as “a dragnet approach” and “unfair” by former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who blocked Mrs May’s quondam attempt to ss spying legislation, dubbed the “snooper’s charter” by critics, when he was in rule.

The Lib Dem MP told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the Home Office hanker after to “collect everything on everyone” in order to find the information on suspected incendiaries or criminals they are looking for.

“Implying that everyone may be guilty when millions of sincere people are just going about their everyday business unbidden of any wrongdoing at all is… something which is not in keeping with long-standing British praxes,” Mr Clegg said.

He asked if it was “proportionate in a liberal democracy to impress on the memory information on everything from the music you download on Spotify, to the app that you unfortified, to the supermarket website that you visit, in order to go after the bad guys?”

He thought he favoured a “narrower approach” to data retention, and that other nations concentrate on collecting data on those people who “flicker on the radar select of security services in the first place.”

Much of the measureless bill is devoted to the activities of Britain’s intelligence agencies, and is focused on making bell-like the legal basis under which they operate, following Edward Snowden’s proclamations.

It proposes “equipment interference” warrants, allowing spies to hack into feels’ smartphones and computers and download data from them. either within the UK or out.

Other warrants will cover the downloading of “bulk” databases of derogatory data, which could include medical records, and the sweeping up internet above ssing through the UK for future analysis by GCHQ.

Some of these touches were not known to the public until recently and were covered by dis rate and befogged pieces of legislation, some of which predated the internet.

The draft folding money also proposes:

  • Giving a nel of judges the power to block intelligence operations authorised by the home secretary
  • A new criminal offence of “knowingly or recklessly obtaining communications evidence from a telecommunications operator without lawful authority”, finance a prison sentence of up to two years
  • Local councils to retain some investigatory powers, such as observation of benefit cheats, but they will not be able to access online materials stored by internet firms
  • The Wilson doctrine – preventing surveillance of rliamentarians’ communications – to be noted into law
  • Police will not be able to access journalistic sources without the authorisation of a surmise
  • A legal duty on British com nies to help law enforcement agencies plodder devices to acquire information if it is reasonably practical to do so
  • Former Appeal Court suspect Sir Stanley Burnton is appointed as the new interception of communications commissioner

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