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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Queen's speech highlights why the Liberal Democrats are needed more than ever.

Today's Guardian reports how an unshackled Home Secretary is looking to take advantage the absence of the Liberal Democrats from Government by promoting a “turbo-charged” version of the snooper’s charter that will extend the powers of the security services.

They say that the government is to introduce an investigatory powers bill far more wide-ranging than expected. The new legislation will include not only the expected snooper’s charter, enabling the tracking of everyone’s web and social media use, but also moves to strengthen the security services’ warranted powers for the bulk interception of the content of communications.

This is the sort of mass surveillance that the Liberal Democrats spent five years fighting against. It will undermine the rights of every citizen in the UK in an untargeted sweep of all our communications data, using up valuable resources that might be better concentrated on the warranted surveillance of genuine suspects.

This legislation is a genuine threat to privacy, to free speech and to the right to protest. I believe that it will be used beyond the realm of terrorism to monitor those who disagree with and wish to organise peacefully and legally against the government. It is another step onto a very slippery slope indeed.
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