31 January 2018
For months, if not years, we’ve been talking about the ridiculous Snooper’s Charter and the government’s data surveillance. Of course, we were dealt a blow when the legislation passed. However it’s interesting to hear the judgement from the Court of Appeal this week. The court has ruled that areas of the mass digital surveillance regime are unlawful.
According to the Guardian: “ The Court of Appeal ruling on Tuesday said the powers in the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014, which paved the way for the Snooper’s Charter legislation, did not restrict the accessing of confidential personal phone and web browsing records to investigations of serious crime, and allowed police and other public bodies to authorise their own access without adequate oversight.”
The Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) had previously given the government powers of surveillance that included access to personal data, internet and phone records with or without suspicion of criminal activity, nor proper oversight.
Snooper’s Charter is simply un-British
If the country, and Manchester in particular, is to continue to build on the fantastic growth of its tech sector, it was absolutely essential that we took a serious look at this legislation. Quite frankly, it’s un-British and unethical to collect bulk private data from people like this. Not to mention the fact that it violates citizens’ rights, in particular, the right to privacy. On top of this, the impact that the wide-sweeping snooping powers could have on British digital businesses is significant. Think about it, many businesses trade on the fact that the UK has more security and privacy rights than our American counterparts but Snoopers could well remove that competitive advantage.
Of course, there’s no denying that the government and police need to use data to help fight crime. Using such a broad brush like this, though, is nothing short of concerning. It is like using a JCB to crack a nut.
I will certainly be listening with interest to the ongoing conversation as more challenges to the Snooper’s Charter are raised. This includes the case that’s due to be heard in the European Court of Justice in February.
I’d love to know what you think of the Snooper’s Charter, leave me your thoughts in the comments below.