Communications data bill response

Responding to calls to revive the communications data bill, Emma Carr, deputy director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said:

“It is remarkable for politicians to be jumping to legislation to monitor the entire country when all the evidence to date shows this horrific attack would not have been prevented by the communications data bill.

“The draft Bill also prohibited the authorities from looking at the content of messages and surely we should expect people under the kind of surveillance possible in this case to be having their messages read? It is the wrong solution and would divert resources from focused surveillance operations at a time when the agencies are already struggling to cope with the volume of information available.

“The Government is rightly working to solve the important problem of who is using a specific Internet address, but the draft Communications Data Bill went far too far, as recognised by two Parliamentary committees.

“Last year the British police received more data about Skype use than any other country, including the USA. To suggest the police do not have access to data is simply wrong. Perhaps Lord Carlile should be explaining why he barely mentioned the issue of communications data in his formal reports to Parliament rather than resorting to ill-informed scaremongering.”