We’d like to thank you for all the work you’ve done so far to challenge the IPBill. MPs voted in favour of the Investigatory Powers Bill by 444 to 69. This was disappointing but expected - we know how hard the Government is trying to push this Bill through.
But thanks to your campaigning, some MPs - particularly Joanna Cherry, David Davis, Alistair Carmichael and Stephen McPartland - did a great job in putting the Government under pressure. SNP, Lib Dem and Green MPs voted against. Many other MPs know that this matters to you, through your emails and tweets to MPs. And our campaign video, which many of you fund raised for, brought the bill to the attention of over 2 million social network users.
The fight isn’t over. First, the Bill will now be debated in the House of Lords where they’ll be putting the bill under more scrutiny. We have more chance of getting the amendments we’ve been fighting for in the Lords and we’ll be making them aware of the Bill’s flaws. The Lords have a recent track record of pushing back on bad legislation.
There are also important court cases coming up that we have intervened in. In particular, data retention and use of the police search engine called the “Filter” in the #IPBill could still be wounded by the Davis and Watson case. In this case, the High Court ruled that parts of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) were unlawful.
It is ORG’s arguments on EU law and the applicability of the Digital Rights Ireland judgment that are making the running.
When Government appealed, the case was referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union. We made the argument that blanket data retention could not be necessary and proportionate. The court will clarify how EU law applies to UK data retention, which will be crucial. We will hear back from the court this summer, before the bill finishes in the Lords.
Whatever the government do, we will challenge mass surveillance in the courts. It is not acceptable to blur the line between legitimate, targeted surveillance of criminals, and the bulk analysis of whole population data.
Please help us to keep on fighting. Join us so we can continue to stand up to mass surveillance, first in the Lords, then in the courts.