Political pressure is again rising to push through blanket surveillance measures in the United Kingdom. Four former home secretaries have urged for a return of the Snoopers' Charter. In a letter published in the Times, the politicians – Labour's Jack Straw, David Blunkett and Alan Johnson and the Conservative Lord Baker – support new blanket monitoring powers contained in the Communications Data Bill.
Pirate Party UK Leader Loz Kaye said:
"After the Queen's speech I warned about the danger of a Snoopers' Charter reboot. Now politicians from Labour and the Conservatives want to do exactly that, and are calling for the return of the Communications Data Bill."
"They need to remember that the Snoopers' Charter was not rejected because of "niceties" as they put it. It was rejected because the parliament committee scrutinising it found that the claims for its benefits were "fanciful and misleading", and that it had "insufficient attention to the duty to respect the right to privacy, and goes much further than it need or should". It was not just a question of fixing a few glitches, the whole approach was fundamentally wrong."
"Linking these calls to a particular tragic incident is unpleasant and opportunistic. It shows how out of touch political relics like Straw and Blunkett are to push for more monitoring in the wake of the NSA scandal. It seems they want Britain to be part of the US's axis of snooping."
"They talk of protecting the public but won't. We should be protecting British citizens from US spying. We should be protecting taxpayers from committing billions to a programme with no proven benefits and many risks. We should be protecting the public from unwarranted intrusion. That's what the Pirate Party stands for even if yesterday's politicians don't."