An important intervention today in the debate over the Draft Communications Data Bill. The Information Commissioner has issued a strongly-worded warning about the Snoopers’ Charter impact if implemented:
Plans to monitor all Britons’ online activity risk uncovering “incompetent criminals and accidental anarchists” rather than serious offenders, the information commissioner has warned…
Christopher Graham said the “really scary people” could simply avoid detection by changing their behaviour…
It was up to Parliament to decide on the merits of the proposals, he added, but there were “important data protection principles at stake”, such as the length of time material was retained, the risk of unauthorised access and whether it was fully disposed off at the end of the period.
“There is a judgement to be made between the security community saying ‘we have to have this stuff’ and the civil liberties community which says this is a gross intrusion of privacy and of citizens’ rights.”
The legislation, if approved, should be kept under consistent review to ensure it was working as intended, Mr Graham said. [BBC]
Meanwhile, the Interception of Communications Commissioner, Paul Kennedy, has welcomed the proposals. Given he is a strong contender for the worst regulator in the UK, not to mention the most complacent regulator in the UK, his backing for the proposals is actually an excellent reason for doubting them.