Government surveillance law must be scrapped

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party’s MP for Brighton Pavilion, has called for the Government to scrap the Regulatory Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and replace it with new legislation which complies with international human rights standards.

Caroline's comments come after the publication of the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation’s report on the laws governing state surveillance. David Anderson QC used his report to condemn the Regulatory Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) as “undemocratic, unnecessary and – in the long run – intolerable”.

Caroline said:

“This report is a damning indictment of the Government's current unlawful, intrusive and disproportionate surveillance laws."

“Anderson's findings are a powerful vindication of the work of privacy and human rights campaigners in the UK who have long called for greater proportionality in Britain’s surveillance laws.

“The Home Secretary must act with urgency to scrap RIPA and replace it with new, balanced legislation that protects people’s privacy while maintaining national security.

“With Mr Anderson also stating that no operational case has yet been made for the Snoopers’ Charter and questioning the lawfulness, intrusiveness and cost of Theresa May’s proposals the Home Secretary must also now urgently reconsider her proposed Investigatory Powers Bill to ensure that it complies with international human rights standards.”

Caroline welcomed a recommendation in the report to ensure prior judicial authorisation for all interception warrants and some communications data request. She said:

“It’s absolutely right that the granting of interception warrants should be a matter for the judiciary, not politicians. For the sake of transparency and accountability the Government must urgently adopt this change with haste and take this power away from the ministers.

This Government has an opportunity to rebuild public trust in our security services by ensuring that our terrorist legislation is transparent, respects people’s privacy and allows those in power to be held to account.”


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