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Liberty and MPs launch high court DRIP challenge

Civil liberties group representing Tom Watson and David Davis
Wed Jul 23 2014, 09:16
The government rushed through drip

CIVIL LIBERTIES GROUP Liberty is representing MPs Tom Watson and David Davis in their challenge against the rushed-through, human rights trampling Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIP).

The MPs are concerned, as are many others, that the emergency legislation runs counter to other established rules that are designed to protect the rights of people.

Davis and Watson have argued that DRIP is "incompatible" with a few things, specifically Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the right to respect for private and family life, and Articles 7 and 8 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, respect for private and family life and protection of personal data.

The bill, now an act, was rammed through Parliament like a rampaging bull. It was ushered in with panicked terms about the dire threat of terrorism, the erosion of government power and the rise of cybercriminality. We were given to understand that it was a choice between DRIP and doom, and the government went with DRIP.

Well, most members of Parliament did. MP Watson opposed the plans from the off, and continues to. "The three party leaders struck a private deal to railroad through a controversial bill in a week. You cannot make good laws behind closed doors," he said.

"The new Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act does not answer the concerns of many that the blanket retention of personal data is a breach of fundamental rights to privacy."

Davis is equally damning, and said that a better scenario would have seen people given an opportunity to comment.

"This Act of Parliament was driven through the House of Commons with ridiculous and unnecessary haste to meet a completely artificial emergency," he said. "Proper, considered and effective law making. The overall aim is to create law which both protects the security of our citizens without unnecessarily invading their privacy."

Liberty called the hurried passage of DRIP a "stitch-up". µ


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