UK surveillance powers have gone ‘further than any other Western democracy’ – MP

Friday, August 19, 2016
By Paul Martin

RT.com
19 Aug, 2016

Britain has gone “further than any other Western democracy” in its expansion of surveillance powers and its ability to collect bulk data without justifiable reason, a British MP has said.

Joanna Cherry, a Scottish National Party (SNP) MP, made the comments in reference to the Investigatory Powers (IP) Bill, which has been introduced to extend surveillance and data-gathering laws. It will allow UK intelligence agencies to collect, store and access information about internet users.

The government says such a move is necessary to combat terrorism. Critics of the bill have branded it a “snoopers’ charter” on the grounds it infringes privacy and undermines basic human rights.

Cherry says: “At least the IP Bill is honest about the fact that it permits the collection of bulk data. However, we shouldn’t be too congratulatory of the bill as we have now gone further than any other Western democracy.”

Although surveillance powers are necessary to protect from terrorist threats, security measures need to be justified, she said.
The SNP unsuccessfully opposed the IP Bill in the House of Commons.

“Certain aspects of the bill will not survive under the European Convention on Human Rights, if we manage to stay in the EU,” Cherry argued.

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