Lib Dems fight expansion of Snoopers Charter

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

New regulations proposed by the Government would be yet another erosion of people’s civil liberties.

The House of Lords cannot stop or amend the regulations, but we can put on record our dissent, and I’m tabling a motion to do that today.

Only the Liberal Democrats are standing up to protect our freedoms

The courts have ruled the police should only have your itemised phone bill, a record of where you’ve been with your mobile phone or which websites you’ve been looking at on the internet if they’re investigating serious crime.

The Government are trying to get around the judgement by re-defining ‘serious crime’ as any offence involving communication, whether it’s serious or not.

I have tabled a ‘Motion to Regret’ the Data Retention and Acquisition Regulations 2018 after Ministers failed to answer privacy concerns I raised in a Grand Committee debate last week.

The regulations would amend the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, also known as the “Snoopers’ Charter”, to give police the power to access communications data when investigating any crime “which involves, as an integral part of it, the sending of a communication or a breach of a person’s privacy”.

This follows a judgement from the Court of Justice of the European Union in December 2016, which ruled that that such data must only be used “for the purpose of fighting serious crime”.

This is yet another erosion of people’s civil liberties, giving the police draconian powers instead of the resources they desperately need to do their job properly and responsibly.

At the last election, Liberal Democrats pledged more money for the police than any other political party. Only the Liberal Democrats are standing up to protect our freedoms and properly fund the police service.