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Lords’ Attempt To Sneak Snooper’s Charter Into Legislation Is “Skulduggeryâ€

Aug 1, 2010
A group of peers from the House of Lords, with connections to the security industry, have been described as desperate, and their actions labelled as skulduggery, as it has emerged that they have attempted to have the heavily criticised elements of the Draft Communications Data Bill pushed through the back door, despite it being ruled out by the European Courts and by Parliament in this country. The conservatives are known to want the new law introduced, but both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have promised to veto the rule, because they believe that it would infringe on human rights and on our right to privacy.

The bill would mean that Internet Service Providers would be forced to keep the Internet history of all its users for a one year period, and that security forces would be allowed to access the data in the event of a potential security risk. Many groups and individuals have said that this would amount to an infringement of privacy rights, but the conservatives had said that they would push for the bill to be passed if they secured a majority government at the next election.

The Snooper’s Charter has engendered a considerable amount of attention since the conservatives first announced it. They argue that being able to access texts, emails, and phone call details of any individual could prove crucial to preventing a terror attack, and may help the police and security forces to arrest a greater number of terrorists and terrorist groups. The bill would require that ISPs retain all of this data for a period of one year, and allow access under certain circumstances, to security forces.

On the other hand, the Liberal Democrats, Labour, and the seeming majority of people have complained that this would be an infringement of civil liberties. The European Court of Justice agreed, and so too did Parliament following debate on the topic. They ruled that the charter was not fit for purpose and critics said that it would do more harm than good. However, the conservatives pressed on with the matter, and have said that they would pass a form of it if they won the next general election.

Former Conservative defence secretary, Lord King; former Metropolitan Police commissioner, Lord Blair; former Labour defence minister, Lord West; and former Liberal Democrat reviewer of counter-terror laws are the four peers that are accused of trying to sneak the charter through the back-door and all have links to the security industry. Critics have said that it shows how desperate the security industry is to try and snoop on people’s personal data.

Internet Service Providers, human rights, and freedom groups have all decried the proposed bill and there was uproar from individuals across the country when the bill was first announced. That the Liberal Democrats stood up and vetoed the decision was not enough to put the Prime Minister off, and he risked division by saying that he would continue to fight for this particular set of laws because he believes that they are necessary to help ensure a more secure future for the country and its inhabitants.


Longterm Registered User
Oct 3, 2012
I wonder how much storage it would take (memory) for an ISP to store ALL of the traffic from ALL of their users for one year? It seems like it would be a very expensive requirement for people in the Internet business. If this Bill passes (seems doubtful), it effectively converts your local ISP into a sub-branch of the NSA or GCHQ. Is this really a good idea? The police might like the idea, but just how secure are all of these ISP's. I would think that skilled hackers could probably break them fairly easily. This means that a LOT of personal info could be transferred out ... a big risk for loss of personal data. Maybe a lot of it is encrypted, but just the same. Not really a very wise move.

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