Open Rights Group response to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill

Executive Director, Jim Killock said:

“Despite the Court of Justice of the European Union ruling that blanket data retention interferes with our right to privacy, the government is expanding the amount of personal information that companies are forced to keep. Rather than rushing through counter-terror legislation, as they rushed through DRIPA, politicians need to ask whether pervasive whole population profiling is justified.  Undoubtedly surveillance must be used to tackle the the threat of terrorism but it should be targeted and proportionate.”

On proposals to record IP addresses and port numbers, Killock added: 

“In expecting companies to spend millions on recording IP addresses, they are embedding DRIPA and RIPA, both of which are supposed to be reviewed in just over 12 months. They are also dealing with a problem that exists because the mobile companies continue to rely on out of date technology that means hundreds of people use the same IP addresses. The government ought to be asking providers to invest in IPv6, rather than upgrading their current, limited technology, just for the purposes of further logging our movements. “

ORG has also pointed out that parts of the legislation aimed at preventing extremism in educational and other institutions, “are so open-ended that they could easily lead to work-place surveillance, where employers would be obliged by guidelines to check their employees’ email and web history.”

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