The Shadow Home Secretary, Andy Burnham, has announced a ten-day Labour Party campaign for further changes to the Investigatory Powers Bill.
In an open letter to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, Burnham said that “unless there is significant movement by the Government”, the Labour Party “will be unable to support a timetable that puts this Bill into law by the end of this year”.
The letter sets out five areas of concern:
- The Bill in its current form does not adequately address the concerns raised about privacy - an overarching privacy clause must be included at the start.
- A higher access threshold is required to restrict the use of Internet Connection Records to the investigation of serious crime.
- The Bill has not yet fully addressed the concern expressed by the National Union of Journalists that powers could be used to reveal journalistic sources.
- The Bill must contain a clear test for review and judicial commissioners should be able to consider the merits of the case, not just the process. Improvements must be made to tighten the wording on the subsequent modification of warrants.
- The Bill needs to reflect that NHS records can only be approved in exceptional or compelling circumstances.
– Labour Party press release
Burnham’s open letter, the second on this topic, marks the beginning of a ten-day campaign for changes to the Bill, after the Home Secretary confirmed that the Bill will return to the House of Commons on 6th June.
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