The UK Government has failed to respond to widespread public dismay over secret mass surveillance revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.
The Bill will not only put into statute the capabilities revealed by Snowden but extend surveillance even further.
This is not just of grave concern for UK citizens. The impact of the Bill will be felt around the world. Authoritarian leaders with poor human rights records can now point to the UK when justifying their own surveillance regimes.
The Bill will affect:
Our right to privacy
Our communications, Internet use and personal data will be collected, stored and analysed, even if we are not under suspicion of a crime.
Our right to freedom of expression
Freedom of expression relies on the freedom to explore and express ideas without the threat of arbitrary, unnecessary, and disproportionate interference. The IP Bill will have a chilling effect on our freedom to share and discuss.
The Bill lacks sufficient guarantees for the protection of journalists and their sources. It also fails to require authorities to notify journalists before hacking into their devices.
The security of the Internet
Bulk hacking powers could undermine the security of the Internet for everyone.
The Bill fails to restrain the sharing of data and integration of technology between the UK and US.
A number of DSOU members are taking legal action against the UK’s mass surveillance powers. The UK’s legal regime for bulk surveillance is being challenged in two separate cases at the ECHR, while the data retention regime is being questioned in the UK and EU courts in the Watson (previously Watson-Davis) challenge. We expect both courts to place further demands for safeguards and restraints on the highly permissive UK surveillance regime.
Don’t Spy on Us members and affiliates will continue to challenge the Investigatory Powers Act and fight against mass surveillance.
Big Brother Watch
Foundation for Information Policy Research
National Union of Journalists
Open Rights Group
Reporters Without Borders