The two largest parties in our government are clearly content with Theresa May's vision of a country that watches everyone. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems and Greens are proving to be ineffective at making a convincing case to stop or considerably restrict what the Investigatory Powers Bill can do.
We in the Pirate Party have been warning of the erosion of our civil liberties in this bill and ones just like it for years. It is why a Pirate voice is needed more than ever at all levels of government.
The Bill will force ISPs to store their customers' web browsing history which the police, government departments and anyone who can gain access to the system may be able to use the data to profile individuals. The restraints on bulk data collection are thin and nothing new has been accepted by way of amendments from opposition parties for some time.
Perhaps most worrying to those technically savvy, is that even if you were to rely on encryption, this can be weakened if companies are forced to remove encryption from their products without informing the end user.
Mark Chapman, Pirate Party Justice Spokesperson said:
"It's painfully obvious to us that this bill weakens security by making mass hacking easier. It also increases the degree and sensitivity of data that can be leaked accidentally. It does not make us safer; it just makes it easier for the government or anyone who can hack into the ISPs data to build a profile about who you are.
"The Bill itself is also woefully lacking in the required technical details that would enable ISP's to actually deliver what is required of them. This technical challenge involved in storing and securing this unnecessary data adds a potentially huge burden onto many small ISP's that could cause them to go out of business, restricting choice for customers and increasing the costs of getting online for all of us."
Michael Moriarty, Pirate Party Spokesperson for Young People said:
"No one has expressed a desire for this bill. We hear regularly that internet access in Britain needs to be fixed and improved, that net neutrality needs to be protected, that information and knowledge needs to be free. We know that Britain wants increased openness and transparency, but they have it the wrong way around. No one is asking for the state to operate in secret while we are expected to completely open our personal and private habits or conversations - yet that is what they are trying to deliver.
"It seems the only time the government listens to us, is when we don't want them to."
About Pirate Party UK
The Pirate Party in the UK is a fledgeling political party. It has fielded a few candidates in European and National elections, but like most small parties it is significantly constrained by the UK electoral system. Despite this, the Pirate Party now has one representative in local government and is looking to build support from the grassroots.
Find out more about the UK Pirate Party at https://pirateparty.org.uk/ or contact [email protected]