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by Glyn Moody

Filed Under:
data retention, drip, snooper's charter, uk

As Feared, UK Data Retention Act Passed In Record Time; Fight Back Has Already Begun

from the democratic-banditry dept

It was just a week ago that Techdirt warned about a new "Snooper's Charter" that would be rammed through the British Parliament in record time. As feared, that has happened, and the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill -- DRIP to its friends -- has received the Royal Assent and is now law in the UK. That's the bad news; the good news is that the fight back has already begun. Today, the UK's Open Rights Group (ORG) announced that it would be challenging DRIP in the courts:
Whilst Parliament swallowed Theresa May’s tired arguments that "terrorist plots will go undetected" and "these are powers and capabilities that exist today", she failed to make a compelling argument that holding everyone's data is necessary and proportionate. Frankly, the Government was evasive and duplicitous, and they were in a hurry to cover their tracks.

Tom Watson MP described the process as "democratic banditry, resonant of a rogue state. The people who put this shady deal together should be ashamed."

And the European Court's decision was very clear: blanket data retention is unlawful and violates the right to privacy.

The courts will have the final say on whether DRIP breaches human rights. And no matter what David Cameron believes, the UK has international obligations. The European Convention on Human Rights, the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and our own Human Rights Act -- all exist to defend our rights and are where we will be able to challenge DRIP.

And that's what we will do.
Although that's hugely welcome, it's not surprising: bringing these kinds of cases is very much why ORG was set up. The following, though, is unexpected:
As the controversial Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill (DRIP) slips its way through the House of Commons and into the House of Lords, the outspoken boss of broadband ISP Andrews & Arnold (AAISP), Adrian Kennard, has promised to use "all practical legal means" in order to protect their customers from state sponsored Internet snooping.
Now, that may just be one ISP, but the example of iiNet in Australia, which has been fighting on behalf of its users there for years, shows what can be done. It would be nice if more UK ISPs did the same, but even if they don't, it's likely that others will join the fight against DRIP and its undemocratic passage through the UK Parliament, given the outrage this has caused -- in some quarters, at least.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2014 @ 4:34pm

    lost files

    Maybe the files will be saved in paper format and get wet and be ruined.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jameshogg (profile), 18 Jul 2014 @ 5:17pm

    Like ten kajillion things have been happening the past week...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2014 @ 8:14pm

    had it not been for the USA obvious paranoia about terrorism and that they have managed to drag the UK along as well, this probably wouldn't have happened. isn't it also strange how the sudden 'heightened security alert' just happened to be put into play so this disgraceful action could be taken? as for May, there's something wrong in the head there! in fact, she would fit in well with a few here!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2014 @ 4:18am

    Hang the lot of them for trason. Problem solved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2014 @ 8:55am

    One heck of the "Western Democracy".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    wtpayne, 19 Jul 2014 @ 10:37am


    Well, this is probably classified as an "extremist forum" ... and anybody who visits here is probably labelled and tracked as an "extremist".

    I wonder what the next steps will be? How frightened should we be? Hopefully not very frightened, but it is awful difficult to tell.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 19 Jul 2014 @ 4:41pm

      Re: Scared

      They went after the partner of a journalist, Greenwald, using anti-terrorism laws, and saw nothing wrong in doing so.

      Basically, if they think you present a threat to them, all bets are off, and they can, and will, do pretty much anything they want to, justifying it after the fact with 'Because terrorists!/'Because National Security!'.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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