Human rights and civil liberties organisation Liberty has been given the go ahead by the High Court to challenge the Snoopers’ Charter.
The Investigatory Powers Act, nicknamed the Snoopers’ Charter, came into effect December 30 and expands the powers of UK intelligence organisations to have the legal right to carry out communications interception and the bulk collection of communications data, as well as force Internet Service Providers to retain the ‘Internet connection records’ of their customers for a year.
The current Snoopers’c Charter contains amended versions of previous provision which were seen as major breaches of privacy. But the Liberty still sees the Investigatory Powers Act and its legalisation of mass collection of people’s communications data as a breach of British citizen’s rights and privacy.
Tackling the Snoopers’ Charter
Liberty claims that the Snoopers’ Charter was passed through Parliament during a time of “shambolic political opposition” which enabled the bill to become an act even though it believes the government had failed to provide the evidence needed to support the surveillance of everybody in the UK.
Now with approval from the High Court to challenge the Snoopers’ Charter, Liberty is to challenge the mass surveillance elements of the Investigatory Powers Act.
“We’re delighted to have been granted permission to challenge this authoritarian surveillance regime,” said Martha Spurrier, director of Liberty.
“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 cyber security, they urgently need to face up to reality and focus on closely monitoring those who pose a serious threat.”
Spurrier’s words leave no doubt that Liberty will strongly fight against the mass surveillance the Snoopers’ Charter enshrines.
However, to do this it needs funding and as such turned to crowdfunding, raising £50,000 from public donations in a less than a week, beating its target of £10,000.
And with 200,000 people having signed a petition calling for the repeal of the Investigatory Powers Act, Liberty is not likely to be lacking support when it comes to tackling the Snoopers’ Charter.
How much do you know about privacy? Try our quiz!