UK: New Data Retention Bill is a False Emergency

UK: New Data Retention Bill is a False Emergency - Digital

In response to the government’s announcement that emergency legislation will be railroaded through Parliament this week to allow for mass data retention, Thomas Hughes, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, said:

“The CJEU ruled in favour of respect for private life and the protection of personal data by introducing safeguards against the blanket retention of the public’s personal communications data.

The government has had ample time to take into consideration the implications of this judgment and there is no justification for resorting to emergency law.

By rushing this legislation through, the government is clearly attempting to evade the CJEU’s judgment and displaying shocking contempt for the need for proper democratic scrutiny.

ARTICLE 19 is concerned that this legislation will allow for the continued bulk retention of personal data, which will have a chilling effect on free speech.”

Over the weekend ARTICLE 19 joined Liberty, Privacy International, Open Rights Group, Big Brother Watch and English Pen in warning MPs that the case for fast-tracking the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (#DRIP) has not been made out. The Bill contains new far-reaching powers to require overseas internet companies to comply with interception warrants and requests for communications data. We also believe that it would further expand existing powers of access to communications data at a time when the Investigatory Powers Tribunal is examining the legality of GCHQ’s alleged use of mass surveillance programmes.

In our joint briefing to parliamentarians, we recommend the sunset is brought forward to 31 December 2014 to enable an urgent review of RIPA and restore Parliament’s constitutional function.

You can download our briefing here.