The UK Government has today published the Investigatory Powers Bill which it expects Parliament to pass this year. Three Parliamentary reports reviewed the previous draft and called for clarity, consistency, and coherence. Those recommendations have instead been met with changes that could not even be considered cosmetic, and which mock the parliamentary process. The Government's claim to have redrafted the Bill in-line with privacy protections has amounted to changing the title of Part 1 from "General Protections" in the draft, to "General Privacy Protections" in the published version.
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Privacy International today publishes a new investigation, based on exclusive documents, exposing the sale of European surveillance technologies to a secret unit of Egypt's intelligence infrastructure.
In response to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) ruling today that GCHQ's hacking is lawful, we have issued the following press statement:
"We are disappointed by the IPT’s judgment today, which has found Government hacking lawful based on a broad interpretation of a law dating back to 1994, when the internet and mobile phone technology were in their infancy.
Today’s report by the Joint Committee on the Investigatory Powers Bill is the third committee report that concludes that the Home Office has failed to provide a coherent surveillance framework.
The Joint Committee on the Investigatory Powers Bill today published a 198 page report following a short consultation period between November and January. Their key findings are that:
- the definitions in the bill need much work, including a meaningful and comprehensible definition of 'data' itself
“Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has today slammed the Government’s draft Investigatory Powers Bill for its lack of transparency, lack of clarity and lack of privacy protections. We urge the Home Office to take on board the wide ranging criticisms that the tech sector, civil society, and now even the Parliamentary committee that oversees the surveillance capabilities of the intelligence agencies, have made of their proposals. The ISC's report is clear on the requirement of a root and branch reconsideration of the legislation, pushing privacy to the forefront.
Documents released today confirm GCHQ, the UK intelligence agency, is hacking computers in the United Kingdom without individual warrants. The documents contain previously unknown details and defenses of GCHQ's use of "thematic warrants" to hack.