Daft Communications Data Bill

Last chance to be heard.

Has the Home Office made it clear what it hopes to achieve through the draft Bill?

No, there seems to be several high level objectives along the lines of (National security, crime prevention and detection) but none seem to have detailed analysis into how this bill will specifically address these objectives.

Has the Government made a convincing case for the need for the new powers proposed in the draft Bill?

The bill adds a presumption to guilt onto every person in this country. No member of parliament would agree to have all of their physical mail or all of their face to face conversations monitored and recorded as it would be against their civil liberties. The same should be true of every form of communication. If there is suspicion of wrong doing then let the courts decide if monitoring is an adequate response instead of monitoring the majority of people who are doing nothing wrong.

It also presumes that the people who are communicating about things of interested be they criminal or of national importance won’t be encrypting the content or adjusting the details of what is being sent to who. It’s the same mentality as internet providers blocking direct access to piracy sites, this only stops people who wouldn’t be using them accessing them. Anyone who wants to use them knows how to access them via other means. In the same way this is only going to capture information on people who don’t want to be talking via secure means.

How do the proposals in the draft Bill fit within the wider landscape on intrusion into individuals’ privacy?

The bill is clearly highly intrusive. The vast majority of people do nothing wrong and yet you want to capture data on all of them. How can this be posed as a reasonable response to crime or national security.

Are there any alternative proposals with regard to the technique and cost of obtaining communications data that the Government could consider?

Yes, let the courts decide on a case by case basis what can be captured depending on the risk involved in the case.

The Home Office suggests the benefits that could be delivered by the enactment of the draft Bill could be worth between £56bn. Is this figure realistic?

Where is the evidence that supports this? The police can request access to this information at present so how is storing it for longer periods of time going to provide any form of positive financial benefit?

Safeguards:

Given the governments form on keeping data secure it is unlikely any amount of safeguards can make the bill worthwhile. There have also been a number of high profile failures of communication providers to properly secure information much of which has largely been leaked directly onto the internet by hacking groups. Has any analysis been put into the cost to the UK economy of all communication records being potentially publicly available?

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