Proof, if proof were needed, that democracy is a cat and mouse game of PR these days… Civil rights campaign organisation, the Open Rights Group, is running a crowdfunding campaign to try to raise £20,000 to fund a challenge to the U.K. government’s own massive PR machine which is in the midst of driving the draft Investigatory Powers bill through Parliament and onto the statute books this year.
The draft IP bill, presented to parliamentary in November — and now being interrogated by a joint select committee of MPs and Peers, due to report next month — is the U.K. government’s attempt to update and crystalize the law on surveillance powers in the post-Snowden era.
The bill not only seeks to legitimize mass surveillance activity that has been ongoing in the U.K. for decades, with little or no public acknowledgement of this fact until after the Snowden disclosures — and with activity authorized via obscure legal loopholes such as section 94 of the 1984 Telecommunications Act — it also expands the surveillance capabilities available to the intelligence and security agencies. For example by requiring ISPs to store a list of all the websites U.K. Internet users have visited for the past 12 months. So called ‘Internet connection records’.