Since the launch of our 2013 Web Index, the Web Foundation has been calling for public debate and legislative reform in the UK to address the glaring privacy and human rights violations uncovered as a result of the Snowden revelations. Today, out of the blue, the government announced an emergency Bill – the Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill.
Although positive noises were made with respect to future debate and oversight structures, we fundamentally disagree with the lack of consultation and the speed with which the Bill will be rushed through. Full and frank public debate that informs the legislative process should have occurred by now – after all, these issues have been making headlines for over a year and the relevant ECJ judgment was delivered in April. Suggesting that this Bill comes in response to a genuine emergency seems at best incompetent, and at worst, manipulative.
We’ll be scrutinising the Bill carefully in the days ahead, and in the meanwhile, suggest you support the Open Rights Group’s call to contact your MP and protest at this development.