Thursday, July 17, 2014

Another letter to my MP on DRIP

I've written to Nicola Blackwood, MP, again about the Data Retention and Regulatory Powers (DRIP) Bill, this time directly criticising MPs' approach to it. I phoned and wrote to her prior to the debate in the Commons on Tuesday but have had no substantive response, as of yet. Ms Blackwood does usually take the time to respond and I do expect to hear from her. It will by then, however, be much too late to do anything about the legislative plane crash that is DRIP with MPs currently fast asleep at the controls.
I was disappointed to see you didn’t attend the debate on the Data Retention & Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill on Tuesday, 15 July, yet showed up to vote it through.
It’s inspires little confidence in the integrity of Parliament when MPs just vote as instructed by the party leadership without any apparent evidence of engagement with the substance of the proposed legislation. I appreciate MPs are busy but for something as serious as an emergency law that requires blanket, indiscriminate communications data retention targeted not at criminals but  the entire population, every single MP should take notice and make time.
I would make one final request that you do take the requisite time to read the Bill and associated documents at
In order to understand what the Bill actually says rather than what the party briefing might be telling you it says.
And then take a principled stand against the Bill when the it comes before the Commons for confirmation later today.

PS For information, I’m a co-signatory of the letter from UK academics to MPs asking that full and proper parliamentary scrutiny by (sic) applied to DRIP to ensure Parliamentarians are not mislead as to what powers this Bill truly contains. Our opposition to the Bill has been noted by Lord Knight in the House of Lords debate on DRIP yesterday and widely reported in the mainstream media by The Independent, The Guardian, the technology press such as Wired, also in The Wall Street Journal and several other prominent overseas media outlets.  Copy available at
Ray Corrigan 
Typo in the PS corrected in follow upmail.

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