MPs vote to approve controversial data retention bill

Controversial legislation in the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill has cleared the Commons after completing all of its stages in one day and being agreed at third reading 449 to 33, a majority of 416.

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Ministers act to avoid data communications 'cliff-edge'

The Government's plans to pass new laws to make sure police can access mobile phone and internet data have met with a mixed reaction.

Some MPs have claimed ministers are trying to railroad through the plans without consulting Parliament, but David Cameron and Nick Clegg insisted the proposals were essential to keeping the UK safe.


Rights Group: Blanket surveillance needs to end

The executive director of the Open Rights Group Jim Killock condemned the government's emergency measures to pass new data laws, saying it cannot just re-legislate every time it disagrees with a ruling by the European Court of Justice.

The Government knows that since the ECJ ruling, there is no legal basis for making internet service providers retain our data so it is using the threat of terrorism as an excuse for getting this law passed.

Not only will the proposed legislation infringe our right to privacy, it will also set a dangerous precedent where the Government simply re-legislates every time it disagrees with a decision by the ECJ. The ruling still stands and these new plans may actually increase the amount of our personal data that is retained by ISPs, further infringing on our right to privacy.

Blanket surveillance needs to end. That is what the court has said.

Mobile and computer data evidence 'vital' against crime

The new data laws being rushed through parliament are to ensure "vital" criminal evidence against criminals can be collected, Downing Street said.

Watch: Cameron says new security services 'rely on data to disrupt terrorism'

Every major counter-terrorism investigation and 95% of CPS cases against organised crime over the past decade have used evidence from phones and computers, Number 10 said, including:

  • The murder of 11-year-old Rhys Jones, shot in the back in Liverpool in 2007. Mobile phone information showed the killers were in contact, and in key locations
  • The gang of men who groomed girls in Rochdale were prosecuted after phone data showed they were in contact with each other and their victims
  • A Europol investigation into sexual exploitation of children online identified 371 suspects in the UK, with 240 cases investigated and 121 arrests or convictions - in contrast to Germany where data is not kept, which identified 337 suspects, but investigated only seven and made no arrests

Liberty: New data laws 'snooping on everyone'

The director of campaign group Liberty has said that new data laws are not just for 'snooping on suspects' but will be used on everyone.

Shami Chakrabarti said: "The Government says it's only plugging loopholes but its existing blanket surveillance practice has been found unlawful.

Director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti says new data laws would be 'snooping on everyone' Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"We are told this is a paedophile and jihadi 'emergency', but the court judgment they seek to ignore was handed down over three months ago and this isn't snooping on suspects but on everyone.

"We are promised greater scrutiny and debate but not until 2016, as it seems that all three party leaders have done a deal in private. No privacy for us and no scrutiny for them. Will Clegg and Cameron's 'debate for the future' really comfort voters and companies today?"

Nick Clegg: Liberty and security must go hand in hand

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said that although he believes civil liberties have been neglected by governments in the pursuit of greater security the urgent challenge being faced by the government means the new data laws are necessary.

In a joint press conference with Prime Minister David Cameron, he said liberty and security must go hand in hand.


PM: Security services 'rely on data to disrupt terrorism'

Prime Minister David Cameron said the government's security services sometimes rely on accessing the confidential data of individuals in order to identify and disrupt terrorist plots.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, Mr Cameron said the recent legal judgement on privacy rights by the European Court of Justice has left some legal ambiguity as to whether internet companies are obliged to hand over data, and this needed to be cleared up.

Labour MP: Data Bill should not be railroaded

Labour MP Tom Watson has hit out the emergency legislation announced by the government that will allow police and MI5 to probe mobile phone and internet data.

Read: New data laws to be rushed through parliament

Mr Watson said it was vital that MPs were given time to read and scrutinise any Bill.

PM: Now is not the time to scale back on surveillance

Prime Minister David Cameron said the new laws to be passed through parliament that will allow police and MI5 to access mobile and internet data is essentail and will enable security services to maintain their existing level of capabilities.

Read: New data laws to be rushed through parliament

It is the first duty of government to protect our national security and to act quickly when that security is compromised. As events in Iraq and Syria demonstrate, now is not the time to be scaling back on our ability to keep our people safe.

The Government has been forced to act as a result of a European Court of Justice ruling in April that a EU data retention directive implemented in 2009 was invalid because it interferes with the fundamental right to respect for private life.

The new laws come after Mr Cameron and his coalition deputy Nick Clegg struck a deal on the on the measures, after the Liberal Democrats blocked plans for a "snooper's charter".

Watch: Nick Clegg rejects 'snooper's charter'

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