ISPA slams backdoor plan for snooper’s charter

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The UK’s Trade Association for Internet service providers, the ISPA UK, has called on Parliament to reject the introduction of the Communications Data Bill into the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill.

Signalling an attempt to revive the so-called ‘snooper’s charter‘, the passing of the Bill would mean ISPs would have to record user’s online activities and make that logged data accessible to the police and security services.

The ISPA believe that the amendment to the Counter Terrorism Bill, proposed by a group which includes a former Met police commissioner and former Conservative defence secretary, is ill-judged.

In a statement the ISPA said: "Inserting the clauses contained in the Draft Communications Data Bill into an already complex Bill that is itself proceeding through Parliament via a fast-tracked process is ill-judged."

"The Lords cannot have time to properly consider the substantial powers contained in the amendments to the Bill, and would deny the Commons the opportunity to properly consider the powers as well."

The trade body also voiced ‘substantial concerns around the wholesale collection and analysis of communications data, oversight regime, definitions of communications data and robustness of cost estimates, and these have not been addressed and would require considerable changes to the current drafting."

"Introducing as amendments to a Bill that is being fast-tracked through Parliament, without acknowledging the need for further debate and substantial change, is deeply regrettable."

The amended Counter Terrorism Bill is due to be debated today in the House of Lords, but the ISPA urged Parliament to ‘reject this attempt to insert complex legislation into an existing Bill at the last minute.’

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