Mr Cameron today constructed a sentence with references to both pedophiles and the growth of Isis and used it to justify the implementation of laws that are intended to replace an EU directives that was considered to infringe human rights. And he did it for your protection?
The European Court struck down an EU directive in April requiring phone and internet companies to retain communications data on the grounds that it infringed human rights.
On July 10th 2014 the government argued Emergency legislation was needed, because service providers were being threatened with legal action by campaigners if they did not start destroying data [in compliance with the European Court ruling] , some of which could prove vital to criminal investigations and court cases according to the government.
Accordingly Mr Cameron said: “We face real and credible threats to our security from serious and organised crime, from the activity of pedophiles, from the collapse of Syria, the growth of Isis in Iraq and al Shabab in East Africa.
“I am simply not prepared to be a prime minister who has to address the people after a terrorist incident and explain that I could have done more to prevent it.”
He added: “I want to be very clear that we are not introducing new powers or capabilities – that is not for this Parliament.
“This is about restoring two vital measures ensuring that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies maintain the right tools to keep us all safe.” [The very ones the European Court struck down in April]
In return for agreeing to back the legislation, Labour and the Lib Dems highlighted new moves to “increase transparency and oversight”, including:
- The creation of a new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to scrutinise the impact of the law on privacy and civil liberties
- Annual government transparency reports on how these powers are used
- The appointment of a senior former diplomat to lead discussions with the US government and internet firms to establish a new international agreement for sharing data between legal jurisdictions
- A restriction on the number of public bodies, including Royal Mail, able to ask for communications data under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)
- Termination clause ensuring these powers expire at the end of 2016
- A wider review of the powers needed by government during the next parliament
Mr Cameron stressed that the data being retained does not include the content of messages and phone calls – just when and who the companies’ customers called, texted and emailed.
But the emergency Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill would also “clarify” the law on bugging of suspects’ phones by the police and security services, when the home secretary issues a warrant, after concerns service providers were turning down requests.
“Some companies are already saying they can no longer work with us unless UK law is clarified immediately,” said Mr Cameron.
“Sometimes in the dangerous world in which we live we need our security services to listen to someone’s phone and read their emails to identify and disrupt a terrorist plot.”
Well hang on Mr Cameron, did not you just stress that the data being retained does not include the content of messages and phone calls – just when and who the companies’ customers called, texted and emailed? Which is it Mr Cameron?