An advocacy group for civil liberties in the UK, called Liberty, is looking to mount a legal challenge to the Investigatory Powers Act, or Snoopers’ Charter. The group is basing the challenge on an EU ruling which found mass surveillance is illegal and data retention can’t be practiced on a population-wide scale.
Liberty’s director, Martha Spurrier said:
Last year, this Government exploited fear and distraction to quietly create the most extreme surveillance regime of any democracy in history. Hundreds of thousands of people have since called for this Act’s repeal because they see it for what it is – an unprecedented, unjustified assault on our freedom.
Some provisions of the Snoopers’ Charter entail mass spying on the UK’s population with the government having indiscriminate access to internet records and communications. The EU ruling from December 2016 found that such practices are against the laws and rights of citizens in the European Union, and that they’re only acceptable when such methods are clearly targeted.
The UK’s Home Office criticized the EU’s ruling saying:
We are disappointed with the judgment from the European Court of Justice and will be considering its potential implications. It will now be for the Court of Appeal to determine the case. The Government will be putting forward robust arguments to the Court of Appeal about the strength of our existing regime for communications data retention and access.
Liberty explains that large parts of the Investigatory Powers Act “replicated and vastly expanded” the provisions of the previous Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) which was deemed unlawful in a judicial review. However, Liberty says there was no effort in countering those areas where the bill was deemed illegal.
Liberty’s challenge is being funded through Crowd Justice, a crowdfunding platform for legal cases.
Source: The Register