First hand evidence suggests that mass surveillance makes the security services’ jobs harder, not easier, on the basis that you cannot look for a needle in a haystack more efficiently by making the haystack bigger.
Numerous human rights and civil liberties organisations, as well as politicians from across the political spectrum, have spoken out against the bill as a serious threat to our civil liberties. In light of the ECJ ruling against the Government’s surveillance regime and David Davis', one of the original challengers of GCHQ’s mass retention of data, appointment to a senior Cabinet position, there may be interesting developments.
The European Court of Justice ruling that bulk data collection is only lawful if it is used to tackle serious crime (Report, 20 July) makes it clearer than ever that the monstrous (in size and aims) investigatory powers bill currently passing through the House of Lords is simply not fit for purpose. The proposed legislation sanctions the mass collection of citizens’ telephone and email data – something that is both ineffective and, as we now know, unlawful – and fails to put in place sufficient safeguards against the misuse of the powers granted to the intelligence services.