The Pirate Party is calling on MPs of all parties to work together to defeat the Investigatory Powers Bill, which gets its second reading in the House of Commons today.
The bill would force internet companies to keep customers' browsing records for up to a year and turn them over to authorities without a warrant. It also seeks to legalise the mass hacking of people's phones and computers by government without any individual suspicion.
Adrian Short, Pirate Party spokesperson, said:
"There is no way to make permanent surveillance of the whole population safe. The Investigatory Powers bill isn't just a snoopers' charter, it's a blackmailers' bonanza. Our internet records reveal almost every aspect of our private lives: our finances, relationships, political views, sexual interests, where we travel to, what we read, who we talk with. No-one can keep this data safe. Secure police databases are regularly breached. Corporate data is leaked and hacked daily.
"Our personal internet data isn't a goldmine for the police and security services. It's a dump of toxic waste that undermines any possibility of a private life for every person in this country. And by exposing activists, journalists, lawyers and MPs themselves to blackmail and coercion we would destroy any possibility of a truly democratic and secure society.
"There are no appropriate safeguards or reasonable oversight for collecting this data. The only safe approach is not to collect it at all. MPs of all parties should work together to vote down the Investigatory Powers Bill. We need to take the bullet out of the gun, not argue over better rules for pulling the trigger."