Liberal Democrats on Bury Council were last week successful in getting Bury Council to take a stand against the Investagatory Powers Bill (sometimes referred to as the ‘Snoopers Charter’).
There are three issues that particularly concern us:
– the Bill would require all communications companies (e.g. Internet Service Providers and telephone companies) too keep a complete record of our electronic communciation for a whole year (email,s instant messages, web browsing history, gaming, etc etc). With something like a mobile phone this effectively means a record of where we are, as this data is being sent continuously to our phone company. It means asking companies like Talk Talk (who lost a large amount of its own customer data not long ago) to keep this information and us trust them that it is secure.
– the Bill gives public bodies the right to have bulk surveillance warrants, which would grant public bodies the right to see the information on everyone with a ‘common interest’ – e.g. everyone who went to a meeting or rally, with just one warrant.
– a lack of properly resourced judicial oversight over the Home Secretary, to make sure that any surveillance that is done is approved in a very and proper legal process.
Lib Dem councillors proposed a motion, which raised serious concerns about the Bill. This was then supported by all Labour and some Conservative councillors and has now been successful in becoming the policy of Bury Council.