Investigatory Powers Bill: Theresa May accused of rushing snoopers’ charter into law to avoid scrutiny
Theresa May has been accused of trying to rush through controversial new surveillance laws before the EU referendum campaign, after it emerged that a new “snoopers’ charter” will be introduced in the Commons this week.
The Home Secretary’s draft Bill – giving spy agencies sweeping powers to monitor people’s web history – was attacked in a series of parliamentary reports earlier this month, sparking calls for it to be entirely rewritten.
A joint committee of MPs and peers has claimed that Mrs May’s proposed overhaul of spying laws was “flawed” and set out 86 proposed changes. However, Mrs May will formally bring forward the Government’s Investigatory Powers Bill on 1 March.
This has sparked concern that ministers want to bounce MPs into backing the new surveillance powers. The former Tory leadership contender David Davis said there was “no doubt” that the Government wanted to rush the Bill through Parliament to avoid scrutiny.
There was “no operational reason to rush it through”, he said, adding that existing emergency legislation – brought in in 2014 – could be extended for a year.
One of the most contentious aspects of the Bill is a proposal to force internet companies to store records of people’s web and social media use for up to a year (Getty)
Mr Davis said: “It all keeps with their strategy, which is to rush everything through. They know when they engage with experts they lose. This is the way they will try to get this through – on the rush. There’s no doubt about it.”
Warning: We’re under a sneak attack to get the Snoopers Charter into Law.
Government whips have told Labour that the Bill will be published on 1 March, with a second reading – giving MPs a line-by-line debate on the Bill – scheduled for 14 March. The Bill will then go to committee stage for scrutiny on 22 March, with a final vote expected in Parliament by the end of April.
Mr Davis said: “When you work it out, it’s a 300-page Bill – so that’s something like five seconds to consider each line on second reading.”
Which is the safest VPN on the market? Who do I use for a VPN?
Warrant Canary – can be found here: