MPs bid to overturn UK surveillance law at the High Court

Matt Brian
M. Brian|06.04.15

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MPs bid to overturn UK surveillance law at the High Court

When UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced he had passed emergency legislation to retain everyone's web and phone activity, privacy groups were understandably upset. The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA), passed in July 2014, requires that telecoms companies and internet providers store customer data so that authorities can better investigate serious criminal acts relating to sexual exploitation. The government is keen to gloss over the privacy implications of the law, particularly that it was ruled illegal in Europe, but a group of MPs, supported with civil rights organisation Liberty International, argue that it infringes human rights and will seek to reverse DRIPA at the High Court later today.

Former Conservative MP David Davis and Tom Watson MP, who is in the race to become Labour's deputy leader, are fronting the campaign. It comes after the US Senate began reforming the powers of its security services, which included stripping the NSA and FBI of their access to phone records and their ability to implement "roving wiretaps." Liberty will challenge DRIPA in the UK through the Human Rights Act, arguing that while access can play a role in solving crime, it doesn't "justify the costly and lengthy mass retention of records of those who are not involved in such investigations."

[Image credit: Andrea Vail, Flickr]

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