UK Data Retention Snooping Law Thrown Out One Year Later

from the now-let's-stop-the-repeats dept

Almost exactly a year ago, we wrote about how the UK Parliament rushed through a dangerous data retention bill, known as the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill, or DRIP, with little debate. As soon as it became law, challenges were filed -- and now the UK's High Court has struck down the law. As you may also recall, the rush to pass DRIP was in response to an EU Court of Justice ruling that said widespread data retention violated privacy rules. And, rather than take the hint, the UK government used it as an excuse to try to just rewrite the rules to let them continue snooping on the public.

Not surprisingly, the current UK government (which has been looking to expand its snooping powers rather than limit them) has made it clear that it will appeal this ruling. Furthermore, the court is allowing the government until early next year to see if it can fix the law by itself:
The judges said that the first section of Dripa "does not lay down clear and precise rules providing for access to and use of communications data" and should be "disapplied".

But the judges said their order on disapplication should be suspended until after March 31 2016 "to give Parliament the opportunity to put matters right".
That's an interesting way of going about things: we see you've been violating the rights of the public for a year now, and so we'll give you another 9 months to do so and hope that during that time you'll figure out a way to maybe not violate the public's rights so much.

Filed Under: data retention, david cameron, drip, high court, privacy, snooper's charter, theresa may


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  • identicon
    Claire Rand, 17 Jul 2015 @ 9:26am

    No unexpected..

    Allowing them time to keep going that is, amazed it got to a court without the whole thing being taken and dropped somewhere dark though.

    Allowing them to keep going is an admission that they will do that *anyway*, indeed this law is not about what they can or cannot do, its about having a law to point to and say they are acting within the law, nothing to see, national security, move along.

    Judges seem slowly to be getting somewhat annoying with the principle of laws being written and passed with no intention of ever sticking to them

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

    • identicon
      Klaus, 17 Jul 2015 @ 3:37pm

      Re: No unexpected..

      "...Allowing them to keep going..."

      I maybe mistaken, but I read this as subtext from the judges: "you've built a rat's nest of data going back to when Adam was born..." but we're not gong to tolerate it no more. Europe has spoken. You have less than a year to comply.

      Am I wrong?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2015 @ 9:28am

    But the judges said their order on disapplication should be suspended until after March 31 2016 "to give Parliament the opportunity to put matters right".

    Possibly an astute move by the judge, as now the government cannot go to the law lords to get the order suspended indefinitely.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 17 Jul 2015 @ 9:41am

    At least a court said they should fix the law. That's rare nowadays.

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

    • icon
      wereisjessicahyde (profile), 17 Jul 2015 @ 10:48am

      Re:

      True but when you consider the Bill was passed behind closed doors with no debate, from proposal to enactment in 3 days flat. 1 Year to get to court and then given another 9 months to "fix" it themselves. It makes me wonder about so called "democracy"

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2015 @ 10:59am

        Re: Re:

        ...from proposal to enactment in 3 days flat...

        My opinions are mixed about that: on the one hand I wished the US could do stuff like that, but on the other hand the bills we get now that take 3 months or longer to enact range from 'leaves something to be desired' to 'totally sucks'.

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

      • identicon
        Slightly Cynical, 17 Jul 2015 @ 11:55am

        Re: Re:

        Dem-oh-crah-see?

        No, sorry, you've lost me. Animal, vegetable or mineral?

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

      • identicon
        Klaus, 17 Jul 2015 @ 3:49pm

        Re: Re:

        "...so called "democracy"..."

        UK has a parliament that is supposed to discuss and debate matters pertinent to state and commonwealth. I suspect parliament now gets bypassed as a matter of routine.

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

  • identicon
    Claire Rand, 17 Jul 2015 @ 12:33pm

    3 days..

    Wouldn't have been three days, the concepts behind this will have been in a desk drawer somewhere for ages, convinced the home orifice has a whole department working on stuff like this.

    Evidence for which is basically no matter who the minister is, or of what party they are the sort of ideas that come out never change

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2015 @ 1:58pm

    'during that time you'll figure out a way to maybe not violate the public's rights so much'

    but i would be curious to know how much info has been gleaned in the year, what was done with it, ie, just stored or sifted through or even used in any criminal cases?? i would also like to know what will happen to any of the data gleaned from now until the law is changed (i will assume in wording only, just to make it appear that the public are being protected and not having the government spying on them). will it be stored and then brought out against some poor sod with the true date and way that data was collected being hidden, just to get a prosecution, as is the only thing that governments understand even when there is no chancein hell of the person having committed the crime

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2015 @ 3:08pm

    UK Public Rights?

    As I understand it, the public has no "rights" in the UK. Just privileges that can be suspended as the government sees fit.

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

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 20 Jul 2015 @ 5:32am

      Re: UK Public Rights?

      [Sad but True]

      And the public is not going as crazy about it as they should be. Needless to say, the counterweight is swinging so expect to see a Labour government in power in the next election* unless the Tories relent and give us proportional representation. To be honest that's more likely to happen if they think it'll benefit them.


      *They're returning to their Socialist roots. Expect epic levels of debt on top of what Osborne has built up now. So the Tories will return in the following election unless Labour gives us PR, which will no doubt result in even more austerity than before, with predictable results. For the record I think they're both wrong.

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


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