The problem that we need to address today is not whether the additional powers sought in the communications data order are excessive—I agree with the committee that they are not—but why the Government once again promise one thing and do another. Not only do the orders suggest that the Government did not get it right when they insisted in 2003 on the RIPA orders, otherwise known as part of the snoopers' charter, in the face of opposition in your Lordships' House and the Joint Committee on Human Rights, but they allow the very "function creep" that the Government promised to protect us against. Then again, this Government have a record of function creep in all their data information collection projects, so unfortunately it is not a surprise. Indeed, it was one of our fears about the recent Identity Cards Bill.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Lords debate RIPA orders
On Monday the House of Lords debated the government's latest RIPA orders, which give access to Internet and phone usage data to new bodies for new purposes. The Conservative spokesman Viscount Bridgeman commented: