Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of The Guardian News & Media, today urged his audience to "push back as hard as we can" on the Investigatory Powers Bill. Speaking in London at a privacy event attended by media lawyers and sponsored by leading information law set, 11KBW, he said that he found it extraordinary that the response to the State wanting access to private information has been "a collective shrug" rather than outrage. He reminded his audience that the private information at issue extends to communications between patient and doctor, client and lawyer, believer and priest. "In this country, we have have recognised that there is something obnoxious about the State coming in to seize papers for 250 years," he said. This, he noted, makes the "collective shrug" in relation to information held in digital as opposed to physical form all the more extraordinary.
The UK Investigatory Powers Bill was passed in the House of Commons and has had it first reading in the House of Lords. A second reading of the bill and general debate about it will take place shortly on 27th June. David Anderson QC,the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, is conducting an independent review into the bulk collection/mass surveillance powers in the Bill. He is expected to report this summer.