Liberty has won permission from the High Court to proceed with its legal challenge against the Snoopers Charter (known as The Investigatory Powers Act 2016).
After receiving permission from the High Court, the director of Liberty, Martha Spurrier, stated: “We’re delighted to have been granted permission to challenge this authoritarian surveillance regime. It’s become clearer than ever in recent months that this law is not fit for purpose. The government doesn’t need to spy on the entire population to fight terrorism. All that does is undermine the very rights, freedoms and democracy terrorists seek to destroy. And as increasingly frequent hacking attacks bring businesses and public bodies to their knees, our government’s obsession with storing vast amounts of sensitive information about every single one of us looks dangerously irresponsible. If they truly want to keep us safe and protect our cybersecurity, they urgently need to face up to reality and focus on closely monitoring those who pose a serious threat.”
The Snoopers Charter
Liberty launched its judicial review legal proceedings back on the 28th February 2017.
Under the Snoopers Charter, the state can now legally monitor your emails, your texts, your web history, and your phone records, with only the flimsiest of excuses required, and with little in the way of oversight. They can also hack into your computer and phones. Communications data (which includes emails, internet browsing history, phone calls, IMs, text messages, and emails.) is retained for 12 months, and 48 different agencies (which includes the NHS, the Ambulance Service, and the Food Standards Agency!) have unfettered access to literally all of that data. Moreover, last year, the European Court of Justice held that the indiscriminate collection of communications data was actually illegal
The legislation was enacted, despite a petition that had been signed by over 200,000 people. There was little opposition from a completely spineless and apathetic parliament
The Impact On Civil Liberties and Human Rights
In a previous article, we set out what the implications of the Snoopers Charter were in relation to civil liberties and human rights.