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Shadow Home Secretary threatens to delay Investigatory Powers Bill

Posted by Sam Frances on Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 at 12:28

The Shadow Home Secretary has published an open letter warning that the Labour Party is willing to risk delaying the Investigatory Powers Bill unless its concerns are met.

In an open letter published on Monday, Andy Burnham laid out seven areas of concern, including privacy, judicial oversight, protection for lawyers, journalists and MPs, and access thresholds for “Internet Connection records”.

On “Internet Connection Records”, Burnham also echoed concerns raised by many in the Internet industry about the vagueness of their definition.

I remain of the opinion that the definition of “internet connection records” in Clause 54 is much too vague. What I would like to see in the Bill is a clear and consistent definition - in particular, a specification that ICRs can include domains but not URLs. Technology will change over time and, if ICRs are not clearly defined in law, they could evolve into something much more intrusive. It is essential, therefore, that the parameters of what can and cannot be included in an ICR are explicitly specified on the face of the Bill.

If the seven concerns are not addressed, said Burnham, the Labour Party “will be unable to support a timetable that puts the Bill on the Statute Book by December this year”.

For more information, see: Letter to the Home Secretary on the Investigatory Powers Bill – Andy Burnham MP

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