Cross-party committee gives damning verdict on Draft Communications Data Bill

The Metro reports:

Ministers are … accused of exaggerating to force through new laws to snoop on emails, internet use and phone calls that would lead to the state monitoring citizens’ every move.

Supporters of the draft communications data bill are relying on ‘fanciful and misleading’ figures to justify extra powers for police and the security services, a joint scrutiny committee of MPs and peers warns …

In a critical report, they find a claim that spending £1.8billion over ten years on the reforms would save three times that amount in areas such as the criminal justice system is ‘not the case’.

They also find a claim that a quarter of the data required by investigators is unavailable ‘was an unhelpful and potentially misleading figure’.

Bloomberg adds:

“The coalition government needs to have a fundamental rethink about this legislation,” Clegg, who leads the minority Liberal Democrats in the administration, said in an e-mailed statement late today. “We cannot proceed with this bill and we have to go back to the drawing board.”…

The report by a panel of both houses of Parliament “makes a number of serious criticisms — not least on scope; proportionality; cost; checks and balances; and the need for much wider consultation,” Clegg said. Moves to give law- enforcement agencies extra tools to fight crime “must be done in a proportionate way that gets the balance between security and liberty right.”

In other words, the Huppert Veto has been deployed.

And a reminder of The Guardian‘s front page:

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