Four senior peers have given up their last-minute attempt to revive the “snooper’s charter” and get it onto the statute book in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.
The former Conservative defence secretary Lord King has told the House of Lords that this attempt to fill “the gap in access to communications data” was opposed by both the government and the official opposition so had little chance of making it into law.
Dutch lawyers, journalists, privacy organizations and publishers are taking legal action against the state to stop telecom firms storing phone and email information via what is described by critics as a ‘snoopers charter’.
The requirement that telecommunication firms retain the online browsing history of their customers for a 12 month period was a key feature of the so-called “snooper’s charter” that was blocked by Liberal Democrats in the last parliament.
However, UK internet providers may still be required to keep browsing data since senior police officers are lobbying the government for mandatory retention of internet connection records. Such a measure might re-appear in the investigatory powers bill which is due to be published next week.
The government’s investigatory powers bill lacks clarity and is sowing confusion among tech firms about the extent to which “internet connection records” will be collected, a parliamentary select committee has warned.
The highly critical report by the House of Commons science and technology committee says there are widespread doubts about key definitions in the legislation, “not to mention the definability, of a number of the terms”.