Surveillance powers: New law needed, says terror watchdog – BBC
Clear new laws are needed to cover security services’ powers to monitor online activity, the UK’s terror watchdog has said.
David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said the UK needed “comprehensive and comprehensible” intrusive powers rules.
Existing legislation was “fragmented” and “obscure”, he said in a 300-page report.
Ministers want new laws to help police and agencies monitor online threats.
But critics have dubbed government proposals a “snoopers’ charter”, warning the plans will infringe privacy.
Home Secretary Theresa May said the report provided a firm basis for consultation on the new legislation which would come in the autumn.
Mr Anderson’s report, called A Question Of Trust, was commissioned as part of the government’s plans to modernise what types of activity security agencies can capture in their pursuit of criminals and terrorists.
The current legislation pre-dates most internet-led communications such as apps and social media.
The report recommends that:
- Security and intelligence agencies should have powers to carry out “bulk collection” of intercepted material but there must be “strict additional safeguards”. (He’s allowing the Snoopers Charter).
- Judges should authorise requests to intercept communications, limiting the home secretary’s current role in deciding which suspects are so monitored. (A kangaroo court like the RIPA court?).
- Proposed “snoopers’ charter” powers must be subjected to “rigorous assessment” of whether they would be legal or effective. (The EU has already ruled this illegal).
- The definition of communications data should be “reviewed, clarified and brought up to date”
Sir Tim Berners Lee said that we need to fight this “Snoopers Charter”. It’s up to us, to make it known that we oppose the Snoopers Charter and bulk data surveillance.