Surveillance law a worrying new development

Kate McCann
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THE LAW Society has called new emergency surveillance legislation announced by the government yesterday “worrying”, adding that it goes against a court judgement on human rights.

The new measures, set to be introduced with cross-party agreement from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives next week, will firm up government powers to force phone and internet companies to collect and hand over data to security services.

Announcing the plans, which were proposed after a European court of justice ruling which led to some companies refusing to hand over data, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It is the first duty of government to protect our national security and to act quickly when that security is compromised… now is not the time to be scaling back on our ability to keep our people safe.”

In a statement, the Law Society called for a full debate on the implications of the new proposals, adding: “We are concerned that introducing emergency legislation does nothing to enhance the rule of law or address the fact that we are increasingly becoming a surveillance society.”