Cayman’s Lord rejects proposed UK ‘snooper’ bill

| 11/12/2012

ImageVaultHandler.aspx_.jpg(CNS): Lord Blencathra, the Cayman Islands representative in London and Conservative peer has criticized his government’s draft Communications Data Bill, which proposes to allow law enforcement agencies in Britain access to electronic data. Blencathra is the chair of a Joint Select Committee examining the legislation which has rejected the initial plans, according to reports in the UK press. The scope of plans to monitor data should be significantly decreased, he said, and indicated that major changes were required to the Bill.

"There needs to be some substantial re-writing of the Bill before it is brought before Parliament as we feel that there is a case for legislation, but only if it strikes a better balance between the needs of law enforcement and other agencies and the right to privacy,"  Blencathra said.

He added that there is a fine but crucial line between giving relevant agencies access to the information necessary for national security, and allowing UK citizens to go about their daily business without fear, however unjustified, that the state is monitoring their every move.

Theresa May, the UK government’s home secretary previously put forward plans which she claimed would protect against terrorism, giving police and other agencies improved powers to monitor electronic communications.  However, the committee argued that May should not be given "carte blanche" to order the retention of all types of data. The committee also rejected claims that it is necessary to put in stricter measures to ensure that plans are 'future proofed'.

The Deputy PM Nick Clegg said that plans to increase powers to monitor online communications need to go "back to thedrawing board".


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