The Snooper's Charter - what happened last night?


Last night was the second reading of the Investigatory Powers bill - or the snooper's charter.

It passed, 281 votes to 15 - with both the SNP & Labour abstaining.

What is the snooper's charter? And why does it matter?

The Snooper's charter would put everything we do online under surveillance.

The bill would require details of our every email, website visit and social media log to be recorded.

Those records would then be stored and trawled by the security services.

This wouldn’t just be a massive invasion of our privacy – it could actually make the security services job harder.

By collecting everything that everyone in the UK does online, they’d have a vast amount of data to sift through and it would likely divert time, money and resources away from targeting terrorists we already know about – something we’re already having problems doing.

Some other measures in the bill, could make us less safe online as all of this data would be a honeypot for hackers and online criminals.

What would it actually collect?

The Government wouldn't have access to the content of your messages - but they'd have access to the metadata - and that can tell you a lot.

For example, they'd know you got a call from a GUM Clinc, spoke for twenty minutes and then called your ex and your partner. But they wouldn't know what you discussed.

They'd know you got an email from Greenpeace on the same day as a major climate change vote and you then emailed your MP, but they wouldn't know what you wrote to your MP about.

While the Government probably wouldn't even look at the data - they'd still have collected it and breached your privacy in the process.

Could last night have been different?

Yes, it could. 49 Tory MPs abstained, so had the SNP & Labour voted with us, the Government would have lost the vote and had to go back to the drawing board.

But it’s not just about that – for months the SNP have been telling people that they’d kill the snooper’s charter. But they didn’t.

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How can I help stop the snooper's charter?

That's the easy bit. Add your name here & stand with us against the snooper's charter: scotlibdems.org.uk/snoop


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