PRISM has been a major story across tech blogs the world over in recent days. In the wake of it we’ve seen a lot of reactions: Anonymous got mad and starting firing off hacks and leaked documents and people have signed petitions asking for amnesty for the NSA leaker Edward Snowden, but despite all this, several members of parliament have decided now is the time to try and push through the UK’s own “Snooper’s Carter.”
The MPs in question are: Jack Straw, David Blunkett, Alan Johnson and Conservative Lord Baker, all of whom have lobbied Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, urging him to stop blocking the Communications Data Bill, for what they call “coalition niceties.”
Now Nick Clegg is hardly a popular fellow to support, but in this instance he’s blocking the introduction of a bill that would see digital companies forced to retain information on customers that could be completely irrelevant to their business, just in-case the government wants to look into them. That’s everyone as well, not just people suspected of criminal activity.
Understandably, leader of the Pirate Party UK, Loz Kaze, isn’t happy. He said: “[These MPs] need to remember that the Snoopers’ Charter was not rejected because of “niceties” as they put it. It was rejected because the parliament committee scrutinising it found that the claims for its benefits were “fanciful and misleading”, and that it had “insufficient attention to the duty to respect the right to privacy, and goes much further than it need or should”. It was not just a question of fixing a few glitches, the whole approach was fundamentally wrong.”
He goes on to suggest that attempting to push through the Snooper’s Charter in the wake of the PRISM revelations and the public outcry, shows just how out of touch these politicians are.
“They talk of protecting the public but won’t. We should be protecting British citizens from US spying. We should be protecting taxpayers from committing billions to a programme with no proven benefits and many risks. We should be protecting the public from unwarranted intrusion. That’s what the Pirate Party stands for even if yesterday’s politicians don’t.”
KitGuru Says: This Snooper’s Charter should be opposed as much as CISPA, SOPA, PIPA and all that other tripe that governments have tried to force on us in the past couple of years. Hopefully this one will fail just as spectacularly.