Snooper’s Charter offers unnecessary powers, Lib Dem peers say

The Snooper’s Charter, or the Investigatory Powers Bill, as it is officially called, has recently passed through the House of Commons by 444 votes, to 69.

Brian Paddick, a Liberal Democrat peer and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, told The Register, that the Snooper’s Charter ‘goes too far’ – it gives law enforcement agencies access to information they don’t even want, or need. At the same time, Snooper’s Charter can seriously undermine civil liberties and security standards.

The issue revolves around ICRs – Internet Connection Records.

Speaking to The Register, Paddick said: “Dominic Grieve – who chairs the Intelligence and Security Committee – said at a public meeting this week that ICRs were 'necessary for national security', but MI5 and MI6 have said they don't need them, only law enforcement does, so one has to question whether they are needed on national security grounds.”

Liberal Democrats believe ICRs are ‘disproportionate’ and ‘misguided’.

“Despite amounting to ‘the collection of everyone in the United Kingdom’s web histories for 12 months by individual Communication Service Providers (CSPs)’ the “significance of this data has been underplayed by government who have repeatedly tried to paint it as the equivalent of telephony records.”

The same report says that law enforcement agencies all knew about recent terrorists before they committed their crimes, without ICRs, meaning they’d have little interest in the new powers.

It was also said that just because the Snooper’s Charter passed the House of Commons, it doesn’t mean it won’t be changed significantly before it passes the House of Lords.

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