Less Than A Week After Failing Last Attempt, UK Lords Try To Sneak Through Snooper's Charter Once Again
from the total-failure dept
Many people still expected the UK government to try again, but few expected it would happen so soon. Yes, less than a week after having the last attempt rejected vocally, the same group of Lords are trying yet again:
As David Meyer at GigaOm notes, just as with the last time, this bill lets any "relevant public authority" get access to the data, meaning that such data will be widely accessed and almost certainly widely abused as well. It appears that there are only very minor cosmetic changes between what was proposed and rejected last week and what has been proposed this week. Of course, it won't surprise you to learn the backgrounds of those pushing for this information:
On Saturday, ahead of a “report stage” debate on Monday (the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill is almost fully baked), Lords West, Blair, Carlile and King introduced a new amendment that appears to be almost identical to the last, and to the Communications Data Bill before it.
Again, this new amendment would force “telecommunications operators” – which these days includes the likes of Facebook and Skype, as well as traditional telcos – to store communications metadata for up to a year and hand it over to U.K. authorities when requested. This data retention regime may require the providers to install “specified equipment or systems.”
The four peers in question all come from the security establishment — a former Metropolitan Police commissioner (Blair), a former secretary of defense (King), a former minister for security and counter-terrorism (West), and a former government anti-terror adviser (Carlile).Meyer also quotes Lord King saying that he doesn't know about or understand the various new social media services like WhatsApp and SnapChat, "but what is absolutely clear is that the terrorists and jihadists do" -- which is why he thinks the Snooper's Charter is needed. In other words, he admits his own ignorance, but doesn't seem to care, because he is ruled by irrational fear. That does not seem like a particularly intelligent way to govern or to legislate.