The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has criticised Theresa May’s draft Investigatory Powers Bill citing concern over a lack of privacy protections.
The government appointed committee said the proposed digital surveillance legislation failed to provide sufficient clarity regarding the agencies’ “intrusive capabilities”.
Chairman of the ISC, Dominic Grieve QC, said:“The draft Bill fails to deliver the clarity that is so badly needed in this area.”
“We had expected to find universal privacy protections applied consistently throughout, or at least an overarching statement at the forefront of the legislation. Instead, the draft Bill adopts a rather piecemeal approach, which lacks clarity and undermines the importance of the safeguards associated with these powers,” he continued.
The draft bill was created to provide a clear legal framework for the government’s electronic spying capabilities, the extent of which has only recently been revealed in its entirety.
The ISC has condemned the bill’s lack of clarity as a “missed opportunity” and suggested that the proposals were probably rushed owing to a ‘sunset clause’ written into the current Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act which was introduced in 2014.
The committee has recommended significant revisions which are designed to address proposed ‘intrusive’ bulk data collection, offensive hacking techniques and digital communications data surveillance.
The report is due to be released in full on Thursday.
By Max Burnell
Edited By Sara Macham