Bulk interception warrants

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in the House of Commons at 1:13 pm on 7th June 2016.

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Photo of Anne McLaughlin Anne McLaughlin Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Civil Liberties) 1:13 pm, 7th June 2016

May I continue? I have already given way to the hon. and learned Lady and am conscious of the need to let other Members speak. I will possibly give way a wee bit later.

The review is welcome—of course it is, not least because it is hoped that David Anderson QC will do what Liberty and others have called for and use the opportunity properly to challenge the evidence and produce a thorough, comprehensive and unbiased examination of the necessity of all bulk powers in the Bill. However, the review was called for long ago by Liberty and other respectable organisations. The Government could and should have completed it before asking MPs to vote for the Bill.

When we are dealing with proposals that are so broad—the proposal is effectively for bulk data harvesting from mainly innocent citizens—it is incumbent on the Government to prove that there is an operational case and that the powers are necessary, and to ensure that the safeguards in place are rigorous. The Government have neither proven the operational case for the powers nor have they delivered safeguards and oversight of sufficient calibre to make the powers justifiable.