We are facing crunch time on mass surveillance. For years the Snoopers' Charter agenda has been pushed by politicians of various stripes, first as the Intercept Modernisation programme, then the Communications Data Bill. Now we are facing it again with a proposed Investigatory Powers Bill. However this time it has been set as a key priority by a majority Tory government cocky from an unexpected election victory. We have just months to head off a major defeat under very difficult political conditions.
Even so, all the expert advice on surveillance is pointing in the opposite direction at the moment. Court rulings have found both operation and legislation itself unlawful. Reports commissioned by parliament and the man formerly known as Deputy Prime Minister are calling for a root and branch reform of intercept legislation to properly balance privacy and security.