DRIP passing a bad day for democracy, MP

By a County Press reporter

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


A BAD day for democracy was Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner’s verdict after the House of Commons yesterday (Tuesday) passed a bill campaigners fear will erode civil liberties.

Mr Turner was among a cross-party group of 56 MPs who failed in a bid to block the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill — known as DRIP — which was introduced under emergency powers following agreement from the three main party leaders.

The bill will now go before the House of Lords.

Mr Turner said: "I received many e-mails passed on from campaigning groups with legal opinions that the DRIP bill was not compatible with EU law. Whilst I always value Islanders contacting me about their concerns I’m afraid such information was of limited value, there wasn’t even time for proper scrutiny of this bill, let alone judge detailed arguments from opposing lawyers.

"The ruling which led to this was made in April and following that there has been many weeks of negotiation between party leaders behind closed doors. Yet MPs were given only a matter of hours to debate it.

"Part of our job is to scrutinise legislation that was impossible yesterday.

"We all want effective ways of dealing with terrorists and paedophiles, but we are not all potential terrorists and paedophiles and without meaningful scrutiny nobody can really say what the implications of this law will be. Far more often than not, hasty legislation is bad legislation and it may well be open to legal challenge. The DRIP law is something that erodes the privacy of all and such civil liberties can seem unimportant until they are lost.

"I’m afraid that pushing through such important matters in a single day without proper scrutiny was a bad day for parliamentary democracy."


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Displaying the last 10 of 17 comments - Show All Comments

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by James McAdder

18th July 2014, at 12:30:42

One of my biggest issues with this system is that it will make us less safe, Don.

Roll back a few years and Mr Terrorist is happily browsing terrorist material online with no idea that the authorities have any interest in him and have an intercept placed on his comms. They can see everything he does.

Now introduce DRIP. Now he KNOWS his activity is being monitored and takes some really rather trivial steps to hide his activity. Now the authorities can possibly still monitor him (it depends on the particular avoidance steps he has taken), but it will be much, much harder to do so. So the authorities will either have to reduce the number of watches, or vastly increase manpower and resources.

Another misconception is that the DRIP records will prevent terrorists from carrying out their acts. It won't. The amount of data will be VAST and cannot provide a warning of an impending attack. It can only be used as evidence after the fact, by then it's too late.

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by Don Prescott

17th July 2014, at 18:56:06

I can honestly say that I am scared of people who have zero respect for human life, especially their own and only a fool or a brave idiot would say " by implementing measures like this we are just telling the terrorists that we are scared of them"...but then, I repeat myself....

A very good friend of mine was once CEO of the biggest Market Research company in the world and her field work staff used exactly the argument that you have just illustrated, when confronted with the "I don't want my details on your computer".
Most software people understand this!!!!

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by Jack Woodford

17th July 2014, at 18:40:25

These people complaining about intrusion are more than happy to have their personal details, email history, consumer habits, physical movements, recent online purchases, personal preferences, photographs etc etc shared and sold between multi-national companies yet are scared of a temporary measure that will - in all likelihood - have no bearing on their lives whatsoever.
Who was it that said recently, "a smart phone is a mobile tracking device that enables you to talk to people."?

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by roger mazillius

17th July 2014, at 15:44:00

Oh I see. I am a suicide bomber because they have put these measures in place!
I want to blow up and kill innocent men, women and children even if they are practising muslims because western governments are scared of me? B.....ks!
It also amazes me that the nations best selling millions daily newspaper is so regularly derided. It must be because it frightens "non-believers"!

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by James McAdder

17th July 2014, at 15:31:12

Aside from being a huge, illiberal and unwarranted intrusion by the state into our lawful and private business, DRIP will also be completely useless against all but the most stupid crooks and terrorists.

There are many, many ways of keeping your web, phone and email activity out of these logs the ISPs are required to keep. Only the most ridiculously stupid crook will be caught by this.

Use of secure proxies, Virtual Private Networks and Onion routers (e.g TOR or JAP) will avoid this snooping.

I suppose the Daily Fail brigade would call for these services to be banned in order for the snooping to be effective, but there are two problems with this. First of all, these technologies are used legitimately by many people. VPNs and secure proxies are used by thousands of businesses in the UK.

Most of all, however, by implementing measures like this we are just telling the terrorists that we are scared of them, an all that does is offer them encouragement.

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by roger mazillius

17th July 2014, at 08:34:03

Yes Patrick and it was well covered on this morning's news! Funny old world, isn't it?

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by Patrick Hall

17th July 2014, at 08:24:58

@ Roger Mazillius. So glad I didn't put my trusty Imperial 'Good Companion' typewriter on Ebay.

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by Mat Thomas

16th July 2014, at 19:55:09

- apart from the usual plonks..

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by Mat Thomas

16th July 2014, at 19:50:41

I have to say that I am with you all and the MP on this one.

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by Jack Woodford

16th July 2014, at 19:48:45

Can anyone point to a Hansard link so we can read how Mr Turner made these points in the House? If he is as concerned as his comments suggest then surely he would have spoken up where it counts.
Or did he just save his ire for a press release?

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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