View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
2 June 2016updated 27 Jul 2021 11:55am

The Home Office still has questions to answer on the Snooper’s Charter

Changes so far deal with small points of language, rather than the technical or cost issues consistently raised by critics.

By Kirsty Styles

The Investigatory Powers Bill has now received a full going-over by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, and a trove of new amendments have arrived from MPs ahead of its first proper debate in parliament next week.

These include a wide range of small changes to language, as well as: a proposal to set up an Investigatory Powers Commission, rather than simply appointing a Commissioner; a plan to restrict data interception warrants in relation to trade union activity and MPs’ communications; and a desire to restrict the terms for modifying search warrants.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has said it “welcomes the steps which the Bill takes towards providing a clear and transparent legal basis for the investigatory powers already used by the security and intelligence agencies and law enforcement authorities, and towards enhanced safeguards”.

However, the committee’s report also notes that “the Bill could be improved to enhance further the compatibility of the legal framework with human rights”.

It says it found that bulk interception is not “inherently incompatible with the right to privacy” but this should now be referred to the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation before the Bill completes its journey through parliament.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

The tech community, too is still worried. TechUK’s head of cyber and national security Talal Rajab has said that while the recognition of privacy concerns has offered a “step in the right direction” for companies providing digital products and services, “we’re not out of the woods yet”. 

“Many of the concerns raised by the tech industry, particularly around Internet Connection Records, encryption and the extraterritorial application of the Bill, require further scrutiny and clarity. Failure to do so will make it harder for government to achieve its aim of delivering world-leading legislation – one which underpins rather than undermines the UK’s world-leading digital economy.”

Many of the amendments proposed deal with small points of language, rather than the technical or cost issues consistently raised by tech firms – and the subsequent trust issues that could be created with customers by the government’s demands for access to data.

This piece originally appeared on NS Tech, the New Statesman’s sister site for IT professionals.

Content from our partners
Where do we get the money to fix the world's biggest problems? – with ONE
Labour's health reforms can put patients first
Data science can help developers design future-proof infrastructure

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU