It seems that the new Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill is going to get rushed through without any serious challenge.
I’ve held back comment on the bill so far, unlike a range of people far more learned than I am, like David Allen Green, Lillian Edwards and even an FT Editorial [requires registration, free] all of whom have almost unilaterally condemned the bill both in terms of its timescale, but also in terms of how the government has clearly lied about the fact that it doesn’t maintain the status quo but in fact significantly increases the scope of existing legislation.
I’m in an unusual situation having seen first hand how data like location information on cell phones and call analysis can help find a vulnerable missing person (see my personal blog for details of my life in Mountain Rescue) and so I broadly support the right of access to data of this kind. However, I’m also a staunch believer in due process and that is one thing that this Bill has not been subject to.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin
Regardless of my personal opinion on the content of the Bill itself, I am astounded that the Government has waited three months to pontificate on the ECJ decision before presenting this as emergency legislation with almost no time for debate. I applaud the 49 MPs who voted against the timetable and stood up for the democratic process (citation: Open Rights Group).