The controversial Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill completed its path through Parliament on Thursday 17th July in just three days. It has now received Royal Assent.
The Pirate Party and civil liberties campaigners had criticised DRIP as an attack on fundamental rights, and an extension of powers and scope of mass surveillance. Concerns were also raised about the use of emergency powers to push the legislation through, leaving little time for constituents to contact their Members of Parliament.
Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said:
"It was clear that DRIP was a threat to civil liberties. But our MPs and the Lords simply refused to do their job properly. They are supposed to be there to scrutinise new laws to protect us. But they caved in to a main party stitch up.
The way democracy just failed to work may be the biggest lasting damage of DRIP.
By refusing to include an acceptable sunset clause to limit the time of the 'emergency' it's clear Westminster wants this out of sight and mind in the run up to the General Election. MPs claimed they want a national debate about mass surveillance. But their actions tell a different story.
What's clear now is that the Pirate Party is needed more than ever. The government and the opposition are determined to ignore courts and constituents alike. That will only change when we have people with the backbone to stand up for our freedoms in Parliament."