ORG responds to the Intelligence and Security Committee report into the Investigatory Powers Bill

Open Rights Group welcomes the Intelligence and Security Committee’s report into the Investigatory Powers Bill.

Executive Director Jim Killock said:

“Credit should be given to the ISC for highlighting the Investigatory Powers Bill’s failure to consistently apply privacy protections. As their report shows, the Bill lacks clarity and fails in its mission to provide a comprehensive legal framework.

“We also agree that the draft Bill ‘appears to have suffered from a lack of sufficient time and preparation’.

“There have been suggestions that a new version of the Bill will be published by the end of February.  The Home Office needs a lot longer than two weeks to redraft their bill. Theresa May must ensure that the ISC’s very serious and considered demands are dealt with in full.

“Rushing through legislation has to stop. It’s time for a proper debate about whether bulk surveillance powers are acceptable in a democracy like the UK.”

ORG supports the ISC’s keys call for:

  • a new section of the Bill dedicated to overarching privacy protections
  • the removal of bulk equipment interference warrants
  • the removal of class bulk personal dataset warrants, which would allow the agencies to obtain any number of personal datasets
  • the application of the same safeguards to all communications data.