ANOTHER OFFICIAL look at the UK Investigatory Powers Bill has found that it is not an ideal thing.
This investigation into the bleak-sounding legal threat to your liberty comes courtesy of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee (PHRC) which reckons that there are elements of the proposed bill that ain't great.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the concerns relate to bulk data collection, warrants and privacy.
A lot of people have problems with the IP Bill, whether it be MPs and ISPs thinking about the costs or pressure groups thinking about the people affected. The PHRC Legislative Scrutiny: Investigatory Powers Bill report (PDF) maintained that the proposed powers are too wide and could evade judicial process.
"In our view, the power to make major modifications to warrants for targeted interception, without judicial approvals, is so wide as to give rise to real concern that the requirement of judicial authorisation can be circumvented, thereby undermining that important safeguard against arbitrariness," said the report.
It's not all bad news for Theresa May's plans, and the PHRC did find some positives, but ultimately the view is that it just isn't right.
"We welcome the introduction of a bill as a significant step forward in human rights terms towards the objective of providing a clear and transparent legal basis for the investigatory powers already being exercised by the security and intelligence agencies and law enforcement authorities and, in many respects, enhanced safeguards," the report said.
"Our report focuses on areas in which the bill could be improved to enhance further the compatibility of the legal framework with human rights, and suggests some amendments to do so."
Jacob Ginsberg, senior director at software encryption firm Echoworx, is not a fan of the bill and sees it costing people in a number of ways.
"There are very real costs, both tangible and intangible, to the UK if this bill is not implemented properly from the get go," he said.
"Having the power to sweep up someone's browsing history without a warrant is just wrong. The government is capitalising on people's fears to reopen a long settled debate: people's fundamental right to privacy.
"A review will do little to reassure the public that the government is looking out for their best interests, especially when the government's exercise of these powers will not be subject to a meaningful judicial authorisation process.
"If this bill passes, we're going to see a tidal wave of other European countries looking to impose similar legislation. Aside from the short-term economic costs, it would be very hard to overestimate the damage that a bill like this could do to our society.
"It's important that MPs and the British public seize the opportunity to question this bill before the powers the UK government seeks are granted." µ
What could possibly go wrong...
Committee clams firm failed to implement 'adequate security'
Meme Ban means Meme Ban
It's anonymous data at first but the NYT figured out how to make it personal