Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Note to MP re Data Retention & Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill

In addition to phoning my MP, Nicola Blackwood, yesterday I emailed her asking that she consider voting down the Data Retention & Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill.
Dear Nicola,

Sorry I missed you when I phoned your office earlier today. I'm writing to you about the complex emergency data retention and investigatory powers (DRIP) Bill the Government are rushing through Parliament this week.

I understand you may be compelled as a member of the Conservative Party into agreeing with the contents of this Bill. However, I would urge you at the very least to

·         push back on the timeframe on this legislation (there is no real emergency that requires it be passed this week)
·         advocate the deletion of clause 5 which expands the definition of “communications service” exponentially
·         advocate the amended date for the repeal of the legislation (clause 6(3)) be brought forward to three months from today or at the very latest 31 December this year – if the government are serious about this being an emergency so there can be a debate then 6 months should provide adequate time for this
·         advocate the deletion of the really complex investigatory powers amendments to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (clauses 3 and 4)

As I see it, the primary threat is the Government is concerned about is a lawsuit for failing to comply with the European Court of Justice ruling in April (in joined cases C-293/12 and C-594/12) that existing Data Retention laws are incompatible with human rights.

I would welcome comprehensive public and parliamentary debates about the issues connected to the Bill, in which you and all MPs are involved.

I appreciate you are busy so have not loaded this email with an analysis of the Bill but if you are interested in further details I have expanded on some of the problems at

I’d appreciate it if you would oppose(sic) against this legislation being rushed through in a day and as always thanks for taking time to consider my perspective on this kind of legislation.


"...oppose..."  in that final sentence should, of course, read "...vote..."

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