Why you should be bothered about the Snoopers Charter

Why you should be bothered about the Snoopers Charter

Late last year, the UK Parliament passed the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. This law builds on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Acts and the Data Retention Laws. This law allows the Government to store all our electronic communications traffic, read the content and meta data and co-opt the product and service vendors to help them. I describe this in more detail below.

The Law was written in the aftermath of Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) ruling in the Schrems vs. Facebook case that the EU’s Data Retention Directive and hence the member state implementations were in contradiction to the EU’s human rights law, the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Parliament had considered aspects of these proposals twice before under the two previous administrations and rejected them.

This article looks at the new Law, criticises it on Human Rights grounds in that it jeopardises the right to privacy, the right to organise, the right to a fair trial and rights to free speech and on IT Security grounds in that the new regulation of encryption products jeopardises access to electronic trust and privacy. It also examines the likely impact of the recent CJEU ruling on the legality of its predecessor law, and in passing, likely conflicts with last year’s passage of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union.

Fair Trials

It must be clear that I am preparing a blog on the Investigatory Powers Act. The more I look into it, the worse it seems. By not requiring the proof of a probable cause, the law weakens the need for a prosecution to prove a case in court and the right to silence. Another instance of jeopardising the rights to a fair trial


A day or two ago, I read a blog article on where UKIP’s vote comes from and who it threatens published on the LSE blog site by Evans & Mellon. They say, they,

… examine the voting history of UKIP supporters, finding that the party is attracting, primarily, disaffected former Labour voters from the Conservatives and elsewhere, and that the working class basis of UKIP has been markedly over-stated. On the whole, however, it is the Conservatives, not Labour, who have most to fear from UKIP.

This is an important piece of evidence of deep inconvenience to those arguing that we have to do more than listen to UKIPs voters, usually an excuse to explore the cess pitc corners of the immigration control policy cupboard.. I tweeted it as I thought it was interesting and one of the retweets, emphasised the factual nature of the paper.

Thanks for the retweet Red Labour, howver we need to remember that

“you can’t reason people out of positions that they didn’t reason themselves into”.

Serious Crime

I am preparing a blog article on the Investigatory Powers Act and the CJEU ruling on DRIPA and one issue that comes up is, “What is a serious crime?”. I have looked it up and find the UK’s definition appallingly low. I wonder what others think?


Last month, Bruce Schneier commented on The Encryption Working Group of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s  has 2017 Annual Report. He says they conclude that, strong encryption is in the (US) national interest, the supply of encryption tools is globally liquid (hmm!), there is no one size fits all answer to law enforcement’s need to snoop, or whatever they call it, and that co-operation between law enforcement and the tech. sector should be fostered.



Mrs. L went off on one this morning. It was brought to her attention that a bijou 2 bed room flat in Bordon, built on public land were deemed affordable at £240,000 and the Labour Party having failed to change the legal regime of housing finance management when in power are now too busy playing Roshambo to do anything about it. It should be noted that the UK is the only OECD country that treats public housing debt as part of the national debt since it is not paid for through taxation.