Press Statement on the Second Reading of the Investigatory Powers Bill

Today the Investigatory Powers Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons. Instead of listening to negative public response to the Bill, and evolving EU law precedent, the UK Government continues to fully advocate for the Bill's prompt passage through Parliament.

Privacy International Director of Campaigns, Harmit Kambo said:

"Today's second reading debate was a missed opportunity to put a brake on new surveillance powers that fundamentally shift the balance of power between the individual and the state. The Labour Party and the SNP strongly criticised many fundamental aspects of the Bill, but we are disappointed that both parties abstained from the vote. We nonetheless welcome their calls for substantial amendments to the bill before they consider actually supporting the Government. The Shadow Home Secretary, Andy Burnham said the bill is "not acceptable in its current form" and Joanna Cherry MP, the SNP Justice and Home Affairs spokesperson said that many of the powers are "fantastically intrusive" and that the Bill, in its current form, is on a "collision course" with the European courts.

The bill and additional documents add up to over 1,000 pages, and there is very little time to get it into shape before it is passed into law. The Government may well then find itself locked in litigation for years to come on the lawfulness of what amount to mass surveillance measures. It is in no one's interest for that to happen. Parliament must take on board the concerns raised by MPs across the political spectrum and fix a deeply flawed bill."