Dear Home Office: please reconsider the Communications Data Bill


Dear Madam/Sir,

I am disappointed to hear that the Communications Data Bill as drafted is likely to be included in the Queen's Speech on 8 May.

The arguments that have been advanced in favour of this legislation are not balanced by provisions to protect civil liberty. In fact, the legislation will establish a situation in which everyone's communication history is stored on the offchance that in the future they will become a suspect in a criminal investigation, which is tantamount to treating the whole population as criminal suspects.

Such an assumption is not only deeply offensive but reflects a paranoid view on the part of the Bill's authors that the general public should never share. It denigrates our human rights and reduces our capacity to treat others with respect and dignity.

The Joint Committee on the Draft Communications Data Bill believe that there is a case for legislation that helps law enforcement, but they also believe that the draft Bill needs to be rewritten to refine its provisions. 

The Committee's Chair said: "we feel that there is a case for legislation, but only if it strikes a better balance between the needs of law enforcement and other agencies and the right to privacy"

On a technical level the legislation will represent an opportunity for a few individuals to profit at the expense of the state, collecting information that will in most cases never be used. It will be a burden on internet infrastructure that is likely to increase the cost of communications and thus chill the economy. This is not an appetising prospect either.

I hope that the decision to include the badly-framed Bill will be reconsidered in the light of continued opposition. My local MP is copied into this email. Perhaps it is one that law enforcement agents would do well to retain rather than destroy.

Yours sincerely,

Published on 24/04/2013 at 11:52 by Technophile, tags , , ,

Powered by Publify – Thème Frédéric de Villamil | Photo Glenn