Petition means that parliament must consider IP Bill debate

Over 110,000 people have signed a parliament UK petition calling for the repeal of the Investigatory Powers Bill. This means that it will be considered for a debate by parliament.

Executive Director Jim Killock said:

“The IP Bill was debated and passed while the public, media and politicians were preoccupied by Brexit. Now that the Bill has passed, there is renewed concern about the extent of the powers that will be given to the police and security agencies.

"In particular, people appear to be worried about new powers that mean our web browsing activity can be collected by Internet Service Providers and viewed by the police and a whole range of government departments.

"Parliament may choose to ignore calls for a debate but this could undermine public confidence in these intrusive powers.

"A debate would also be an opportunity for MPs to discuss the implications of various court actions, which are likely to mean that the law will have to be amended. ”

Legal challenges to the IP Bill

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is due to clarify its rulings on data retention in a case brought by Labour MP Tom Watson, which ORG intervened in. The CJEU’s judgment could mean that parts of the IP Bill are shown to be unlawful and need to be amended. This could mean further restrictions around the data that is collected, how it can be used, and how it is accessed.

ORG is also one of a number of organisations who have brought a case to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that the UK’s surveillance regime breaches our right to privacy.

Notes to Editors

The IP Bill has been passed by MPs and peers and is awaiting royal assent, which is expected to take place before the end of 2016.

The IP Bill will mean that:

  • Internet Service Providers could be obliged to store their customers’ web browsing history for a year. The police and government departments will have unprecedented powers to access this data through a search engine that could be used for profiling.
  • The security services will continue to have powers to collect communications data in bulk.
  • The police and security services will have new hacking powers.
  • The security services can access and analyse public and private databases, even though the majority of data will be held about people who are not suspected of any crimes.

The IP Bill petition is here