The Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB) marks the culmination of the debate about mass
surveillance in the UK. On the one hand, it is an extraordinary step forward. It brings the
activities of GCHQ, Britain’s communications spy agency, out into the open and gives them a firm legal basis. On the other hand, the Bill enshrines into law many of the surveillance practices that have generated public concern, while offering inadequate safeguards to prevent their misuse. Worse still, the effectiveness of the proposed powers remains in doubt. There is strong reason to believe they are at best a distraction from effective counter-terrorism techniques, and at worse wholly counter-productive.
This briefing covers a range of issues in the debate around the IPB, including the Bill’s likely impact on privacy, the potential for misuse and the proposed oversight system, encryption, and the efficacy of the powers.
LCHR recommends Labour MPs pursue a set of changes to the bill to address each of these areas.
Download the full briefing here