IP Bill: Sign our statement to the Lords

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The House of Lords is going to debate the Investigatory Powers Bill next week.

Sign on to the statement below and we'll send it to members of the House of Lords with your signature attached before the debate.

Dear member of the House of Lords,

The Investigatory Powers Bill will impact every area of our lives and our private communications for decades to come.

The Bill is going through the House of Lords and will be in Committee on 11, 13, and 19 July.

We, the undersigned individuals, believe there are areas of the Bill that need to be improved in the House of Lords as part of the Parliamentary process.

1. Internet Connection Records: These are records of every website or app that a person has visited, and can also include usernames, passwords, billing data and location data. The Bill will require companies to keep these extensive and intrusive records for up to a year. It is important that this requirement is removed from the Bill as it is an overly intrusive invasion of privacy; the operational aims can be met by existing powers; and it would have a chilling effect on freedom of expression

2. Judicial Authorisation: At the moment, the Bill makes reference to a ‘double-lock’ but this should be strengthened so that there is proper independent judicial authorisation for the use of these powers, not merely judicial review of a decision already taken. This would bring the Bill closer to standards seen in other comparable pieces of legislation and provide some protection against politically motivated or expedient use of these broad powers.

3. Independent Oversight: The proposed Investigatory Powers Commissioner (IPC) will be in charge of both the Judicial Commissioners authorising certain types of surveillance warrants and oversight of the agencies.It is problematic that both authorisation and oversight will fall into its remit. Judicial Commissioners in charge of authorisation should be independent of the IPC. The IPC, to genuinely audit the implementation of surveillance, must be truly independent and not involved in the authorisation of surveillance in the first place.

4. Bulk powers: The bulk interception, storage, and analysis of communications data is an overly intrusive measure that puts entire populations under surveillance. These provisions should be removed from the Bill and resources directed to targeted forms of surveillance which meet the necessary legitimate operational needs.

We ask you as a member of the House of Lords to attend the Committee stages of the Bill and to table and support amendments that would address these four overarching concerns.ader image

The British Parliament and Big Ben by Maurice under a CC-BY license - cropped from the original image

About us

Don't Spy on Us was a coalition of the most influential organisations who defend privacy, free expression and digital rights in the UK and in Europe - Article 19, Big Brother Watch, English PEN, Liberty, Open Rights Group and Privacy International.


These organisations are affiliates to the Don't Spy on Us campaign:

Access Now, Amnesty International UK, Centre for Investigative Journalism, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, IFEX, Index on Censorship, OpenDemocracy, OpenMedia, Public Concern at Work, Web Foundation