Controversial surveillance legislation that was pushed through Parliament in days has been found to be unlawful by the High Court. It was found that the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA) failed to provide clear and precise rules to protect data and that the access is not authorised by a court and independent body.
DRIPA was in response to the Court of Justice of the EU ruling that the directive on data retention interfered with an individual's right to privacy. The then coalition government rushed through DRIPA claiming an "emergency". DRIPA allows the Home Secretary to order communications data be stored by a company for up to a year.
Pirate Party spokesman Mark Chapman said:
"We said at the time that rushing through a snooping law would lead to chaos. There was no time to scrutinise DRIPA, so little wonder it has been found to be partly illegal.
The government must now shelve its plans to revive the Snoopers' Charter. Instead they must follow advice and revisit all intercept legislation to properly balance liberty and security.
Recent reports into surveillance have talked of 'question of trust' and a need for a 'democratic licence to operate'. The DRIPA fiasco shows perfectly why there is no trust and no democracy when it comes to this issue.
The British people can be thankful that there are a few independent minded and knowledgeable MPs like Tom Watson and David Davis. We need more of them. That's what we're here for."
NOTES:Text of the judgement: https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/davis_judgment.pdf