THERESA MAY'S Investigatory Powers Bill could undermine the UK tech sector, according to a cluster of MPs who were asked to look into the legislation.
The MPs have given the proposals a good going over and found them lacking in reason, and too expensive to endure.
A House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report found what a lot of people suspected all along: that the bill will cost communication services providers a lot of money to manage and secure the collected data.
Committee chairwoman Nicola Blackwood MP blamed a lack of clarity for the objections and suggested that more should be done to keep the UK technology industry happy.
"It is vital we get the balance right between protecting our security and the health of our economy. We need our security services to be able to do their job and prevent terrorism, but as legislators we need to be careful not to inadvertently disadvantage the UK's rapidly growing tech sector," she said.
"The current lack of clarity in the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill is causing concern among businesses. There are widespread doubts over the definition, not to mention the definability, of a number of the terms used in the draft bill. The government must urgently review the legislation so that the obligations on the industry are clear and proportionate."
We knew this was coming when the meeting of parliamentary minds turned to the cost of the law and its blurred lines. There has been opposition all along, and the findings of the report were welcomed.
"David Cameron needs to consider whether he wants to be the Conservative PM who jeopardised the success of the UK tech industry. As it stands, the bill will be bad for business, bad for citizens and bad for UK democracy," said Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group.
"There are serious concerns about whether the issues raised by the committee can be resolved in such a short time. There is too much at stake for the government to rush this law through."
Antony Walker, deputy CEO of industry group TechUK, added: "There are several important recommendations in this report that we urge the Home Office to take on board. In particular we need more clarity on fundamental issues, such as core definitions, encryption and equipment interference.
"Without that additional detail, too much of the bill will be open to interpretation, which undermines trust in the legislation and the reputation of companies that have to comply with it.
"The draft bill presents an opportunity for the UK government to develop a world-leading legal framework that balances security needs with democratic values and protects the health of our growing digital economy. But we have to get the details right."
Or we could put it in the sea? µ
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