back to article High Court gives six months to make the Snooper's Charter lawful

The UK government's surveillance regime has been dealt another blow as the High Court in England today ruled the Snooper's Charter unlawful – and gave the government six months to fix it. Handing down the judgment, Lord Justice Rabinder Singh said that Part 4 of the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), which relates to retention of …

  1. }{amis}{


    I just got the email for supporting this this morning and have pledged for round 2 FIGHT!

    1. Pen-y-gors

      Re: Yay

      Ditto. It's nice to see money put to a good use!

    2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

      Re: Yay


      Received the email earlier from CrowdJustice. Will also be contributing to the next stages.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Snooper's Charter!

      the Snoopers Charter which is of course illegal, and as far as I can tell, only Slovenia implemented the landmark 'illegal' retained telecoms stuff ECJ ruling (and they probably did it for their own political reasons)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bet they wanted to delay till next year ....

    (weary sigh) as predicted, Brexit is jamming up the everyday business of government.

    Presumably this needs a HoC vote ?

    1. rebecca_hill (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: I bet they wanted to delay till next year ....

      The changes will have to be debated and approved in both houses; the government has said it will make them via secondary legislation subject to affirmative resolution procedure (i.e. they have to sign off on it). BUT - if the info in this HoC library doc (2008) remains up to date - "the last time a draft Statutory Instrument subject to affirmative procedure was not approved by Resolution of the House of Commons was on 12th November 1969"

      1. sictransit

        Re: I bet they wanted to delay till next year ....

        The government has said it will be using powers under the European Communities Act 1972 to make the regulations bringing the Investigatory Powers Act into line with EU law. Those powers give the government freedom to either sign the regulations directly without any parliamentary debate or vote (“negative procedure”, in which case MPs or Lords can subsequently take no action if they don’t mind, or choose to put the regulations to a vote to annul them within 40 days), or else obtain the prior approval of the Lords and Commons, by having each House vote on a final draft before the minister signs the regulations (“affirmative procedure”, which is what the Government has said it intends to do here).

        It’s purely down to political judgement/courtesy/urgency whether the government opts for the procedure that requires a prior vote.

        But as you point out, it’s vanishingly rare for the Lords or Commons to actually block regulations, though sometimes the government sees which way the wind is blowing and changes tack before controversial regulations are formally published.

        In the current case, the hands of parliament and the government are effectively tied by the EU and the ruling of its Court of Justice, unless parliament wanted to give the UK a reputation for flouting its treaty obligations. So the parliamentary vote is something of a charade with no legal effect but adding an air of political legitimacy to doing what is required to be done.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Bloody EU

    Giving British citizens rights that the British Government, and the Parliament it owns in our broken system, wants to take away.

  4. Clive Galway
    Thumb Up

    So Plan B then?

    Drag heels until we are out of EU, then as you were.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: So Plan B then?

      That is a GDPR/Data Protection fail as it gives the basis to request a ruling on the lack of data protection equivalence.

      One of the joys of dealing with a neighbour who is a 20Tn GDP Gorilla I am afraid. It is the Gorilla way or the highway.

      1. Pen-y-gors

        Re: So Plan B then?

        And up until next year we get a say in determining the Gorilla's way, after that, we just bend over and assume the position.

  5. dave 81

    Write your damned MP people

    I have donated to the Liberty & The Civil Liberties Trust for this, and again now for their further legal action. I have also written my turd of an MP, told him what I am doing, and they he can either rip up the snoopers charter, or face never getting a vote from me again, plus of course I have beem and will continue to bad mouth the undemocratic expletive with what he has failed to do at every appropriate opportunity. So please write your MP, there is a website and everything that makes it easy, and tell them that you have along memory, so come election time, if the snoopers charter is not ash, your vote will not go their way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Write your damned MP people

      I did and where I lived at the time it was Andrew Gwynne, all I got back was an obvious template, after replying to that I still got nothing. They don't work for us.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Write your damned MP people

        They don't work for us.

        Depends where you live. No complaints over here. The current, previous and the one before them were the thorn in the side of consecutive Labor and Tory governments on the subject of snooping. They consistently voted against any of that regardless of whipping too.

        You probably guessed already - this is Cambridge and Cambridgeshire. Unfortunately - not representative of UK as a whole.

      2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        Re: Write your damned MP people

        I suspect that the real problem is that they DO work for us.

        They work for the lowest common denominator voter. If they did not, they would be flung out at the next election. Until we get a better educated electrorate we will have teh politicians we deserve...

    2. Pen-y-gors

      Re: Write your damned MP people

      No need to write. Plaid, SNP and Green MPs need no urging on this!

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Write your damned MP people

      "So please write your MP, there is a website and everything that makes it easy, and tell them that you have along memory, so come election time"

      I had this conversation with my MP before the last election. He's no longer my MP.

      1. The Nazz

        Re: Write your damned MP people

        I have often thought of writing to my MP about many issues, not just privacy or the retention of data, but a whole swathe of issues, not least the decline in common decency and civilised behaviour, the increasingly antisocial and aggressive behaviour and violence exhibited by many ( not least those who "lose" on any personal matter ) but then i remember, IIRC ......

        that my current MP was a scriptwriter for Eastenders for some 10 years or more.

  6. bigtimehustler

    Do you not think they will just drag this out till we leave and the transition period is over, then vote on a law change?

  7. mark l 2 Silver badge

    It is ridiculous to have the grounds of serious crime as one where you could be capable of being imprisoned for 6 months as this encompasses nearly every offence that you would appear before a magistrates in court rather than a judge. For example someone who steals a loaf of bread from a shop could in theory get 6 months in prison but I doubt anyone outside of the government in this case would class that as serious crime.

    Perhaps someone with some legal expertise could answer this one? Since the current law has been found to be unlawful would this have any knock on effects to any previous or ongoing criminal cases where they are relying on data that was obtained unlawfully under this law?

    1. Grikath

      "For example someone who steals a loaf of bread from a shop could in theory get 6 months in prison"

      Used to be either a hemp necktie, or a one-way trip to Oz for that one, so obviously a heinous crime in the eyes of the Powers that Be...

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        It was still a serious crime of theft in the 1960s. IIRC it was still fairly serious in the 1980s. I wonder when it dropped down the scaleas much as it has now?

        Incidentally, being a 'dirty old man' in the 1960s was seen as anti-social, but not a major crime, as it has now become....

  8. steelpillow Silver badge

    So it goes

    "You just broke EU law."

    "But we stopped doing that ages ago, m'Lud."

    "Your new stuff still breaks EU law."

    "Yes we know, but we are working on it, m'Lud. Please can we have a bit more time?"

    "No. [Pause] Erm, is this the UK Government case or the Facebook case?"

    "The Google case, Your Honour."

    And so it goes

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Wanting an extension on the deadline to do something they don't want to do? ICANN't think where I heard of anything like that.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is annoying to have to pay into a crowdfunded action - to contest a government action for which I have had to pay with my taxes.

    I could understand the alt-right arguments about Big Government wasting money - if it wasn't the people with that ideology in government who seem to be wasting the money.

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      It is the Alt-Left people who accuse Government of being Alt-Right. A true Alt-Right person wants very little government at all.....

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        The government isn't alt-right, it's just rightwing. Not extremely rightwing by global standards, but definitely on the right of mainstream UK politics.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Click here to Agree

    The snoopers of Snoopers Charter fame should just push a confusing, hard to read "privacy" policy into everything they snoop.

    Seems to work for everyone else.

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    The switch from DRIPA to IPA *alone* should tell you deliberate confusion is a tactic in this

    Data fetishists at work.

    Look for the senior civil servants with a PPE and a deep air of entitlement.

    IRL who is "Bryan Thomas Reynolds" ?

  13. scrubber

    I applaud the fight...

    ... but it's ultimately a losing one, the government will just keep amending the rules and appointing the judges to get whatever outcome they desire.

    If only we had some set of founding principles that a minority voter, majority MP government couldn't simply vote out of existence, a constitution, a Magna Carta for example.

    Or how about having a monarch that sees her subjects having their rights routinely stripped by a government the majority of the people did not vote for and stopped signing those bills into law? C'mon Lizzy, do your job!

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