I’ve blogged just once or twice or thrice about the many failings of the Interception of Communications Commissioner and his dreadful record: failing to ask the right questions, unwilling to investigate evidence of widespread abuses and ignoring questions over cost.
Now he’s spoken out over the highly controversial Draft Communications Data Bill. Not against its extensive online snooping provisions or even to call for stronger safeguards (such as to remedy his own failures to look into strong evidence that the existing rules have been regularly broken).
Ministers have said the [provisions of the Draft Communications Data Bill are] only to allow the police, the security services and tax officials to tackle terrorism and serious crime.
The proposals will stop local authorities and hundreds of other agencies from accessing such records.
But Sir Paul, whose job is to check such powers are being used appropriately, said the powers should not be limited to law enforcement agencies.
That attitude is in marked contrast to the Information Commissioner who, quite rightly, has been stressing the importance of protecting people’s privacy and the big risks in extending online monitoring.