It’s Queens speech time, the annual British spectacle of making an increasingly tired looking monarch read out her new prime ministers legislative agenda; an agenda about which professionalism demands she have no opinion.
This year it included a promise to introduce a new Investigatory Powers Bill that the BBC calls “sweeping and vague”. It will make it legal to do many of the things that Edward Snowden is in exile for pointing out were being done illegally.
This was to be expected.
With the Liberal democrats made to go and stand in the corner with a pointy hat on, there is no parliamentary party in the UK that formally opposes making your internet service provider record everything you do. David Cameron has a majority of 12 so her majesty indicated his anti-liberal legislative agenda will be broken into two parts;
1. Pass the snoopers charter dressed up in a new name ASAP
2. Save breaking the UK’s human rights law relationship with Europe for later – perhaps a bone to throw to the anti Europeans in his party if they lose the in/out referendum now scheduled?
The Guardian sees the IPB as a legislative bag that will hold all of the stuff from the draft communications data bill, or “Snoopers Charter” if you prefer, that the new government is able get past the objections of technology giants at the negotiating table. If the only thing standing between the public interest in privacy and Theresa May is now a trade negotiation with Google, Facebook, Apple et al. – a.k.a. “the union of supra national corporate data miners” – expecting the worst isn’t pessimism.
Perhaps the bills teeth will get extracted because the data dentists would charge too much to save them. If not, the public would need 12 out of 331 conservative MP’s to look like they might rebel.
Write to any Conservative MP today and politely ask them to do their job and stand up for your rights. Remind them, They work for you – not the police, MI5 or big data.