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Don’t forget the UK rushed through the DRIP snooping law

Do you know what the government hopes the most about its recently rushed through DRIP legislation? That you'll forget about it. For those that don't know, DRIP, or the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers law, is a bill that was pushed through last week that forces ISPs and in-fact any company dealing with data on UK citizens, to store your activities and information for up to a year. This was pushed through in just over a week, with almost zero debate or scrutiny, despite the fact that back in April, the European Court of Justice ruled the practice as a breach of human rights.

The reasoning behind the UK's response to this law (over three months late mind you) is that without hoovering up the conversations, internet histories and content of text messages of every single British citizen, they wouldn't be able to track terrorists and paedophiles. While those two buzzwords should throw up a red flag whenever a politician pitches them around like a moral smokescreen, the fact that the entire world is up in arms over the data retention practices of the US and yet the government here wants to increase its powers and rope in private companies to do it, should be even more cause for concern.

Not only does that mean that the public's views on snooping are completely unheeded, but it shows that politicians themselves don't understand what's being pushed through. In many cases like this, where a law seems to affect the public far more than the politicians themselves, if they truly thought about its implications, they would obviously have voiced more concern. In recent years, the expenditure scandals through second homes and other expenses, has ended the career of more than a couple of MPs and tarnished many others. Do they not realise that it's this sort of snooping that can bring these scandals to light?

According to Mr Cameron, we're all suspects

While I doubt you'll find many people opposed to the idea of catching out a politician gaming the system, the fact that those same politicians who no doubt have a few skeletons in their closets didn't attempt to halt the DRIP laws going through should tell us just how little they understand it.

The only ray of hope in the whole DRIP law situation is that it has a clause that brings it to an end in 2016, with the idea to re-evaluate its usefulness and (presumably) legality. And that's why we mustn't forget it. David Cameron has pledged to increase surveillance should be voted in again after the next general election, so it seems unlikely he'd rescind more snooping powers in 2016. He and his supporters like Theresa May, who trumpeted the loudest when this legislation was being rushed through, are no doubt imagining that the world will have moved on by 2016 and we'll have forgotten that this law is in place. We'll be used to having all of our information seized and stored, despite it breaching fundamental rights laid down by the EU.

That's why we mustn't forget, so that when the times comes we can do something about it. Don't forget it in the mean time either, as you can get in touch with your local representative (here) to complain that they didn't throw up a stop sign when they had the chance. If you want to go all out, you can join the Open Rights Group (here) which is planning to sue the government over this law's implementation.

Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE.

KitGuru Says: Elsewhere in the world, snooping laws are used for more than tracking down terrorists. They're used for stopping protests before they begin and preventing government descent. That's the slippery slope we're on. As badass as a V for Vendetta finale would be, nobody wants the build up police state. It'll happen if we let it.

And to those that say “I have nothing to hide,” the problem, with that argument, is that you don't choose what you need to hide. Today it might be terrorist affiliations, but tomorrow it might be voting for the opposition party, or being friends with a muslim. Remember that just because it doesn't affect you yet, it may do in the long run. Stand by others now and they'll stand by you when it's needed. 

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  1. XLighterShadowX

    Down with the government! Am I a terrorist now?

  2. Am I the only one amused by the fact that although this was ‘rushed’ because of terrorism supposedly that he still had time to sit with the major parties and get their backing BEFORE announcing this? Although you didn’t mention in your writeup that it was indeed debated however the ones arguing against it were outnumbered but hey atleast some tried. Some listened to the public

    I have nothing to hide but I still don’t consent to them snooping on me. Who exactly is gonna snoop on the politicians? Can anyone apply for a court order (as Cameron stated would be needed) and access their own stored data? Can I apply to have his history looked at through texts, emails, browser history etc? To use the excuse its for terrorism and paedophiles is getting very old and weak. Speaking of paedophiles will every MP be watched now due to the several year scandal involving politicians and sexual abuse against children? Pretty ignorant of the government to bang on about paedophiles whenever an investigation is ‘supposedly’ happening for claims of a paedophile ring within the government dating back years. As for terrorism if you ask me Cameron and his croonies have done more harm to the UK than a terrorist could do. Just look at that plank Ian Duncan Smith all those proposed changes etc to benefits and really screwing over people that were struggling with a legitimate claim. A friend of my family was told he could work, the problem with that was he was bed ridden and has been stuck in a bed for the last 10 years. He can’t move without help, can’t eat without it. What a joke.. Took several weeks to get those croonies off his back. What kind of work was he supposed to do is what no one can figure out. They changed their minds and ended up saying he wasn’t
    entitled to benefits, he wasn’t even getting them just help with his healthcare every so often, twats

    Seriously I’ll end this rant here but as far as I’m concerned the sooner Cameron and his buddies are out of power the better for the UK all round. I would expect the economy alone to get better within weeks of it. Unlike what they claim that things are on the rise.

  3. It’s the government that is breaching human rights, so I think that makes them the terrorists?

  4. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.

    In this day and age, it looks like no-one. We need to step up and pressure them to repeal this, because frankly – I’m not convinced the government has the ability to protect us even if they did want to.

  5. Inter arma enim silent leges: In times of war the law falls silent. Seems to me that this is what’s happened. In any case, whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Furthermore the attempt to get Torrent websites taken down has only sprung more and more of them, including proxies of the originals. How long before the government finds that it has nowhere near the capacity to process all the data it receives and aborts the whole thing (with all the cost directed at the tax payer?)

  6. *Dissent