MPs win surveillance powers legal challenge

MPs win surveillance powers legal challenge

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-33564442

Two MPs have won a High Court battle over laws which they say allow the police and security services to “spy on citizens” without proper safeguards.

The government said it “disagreed absolutely” with the court’s ruling and would seek to appeal.

David Davis and Tom Watson argued the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act was incompatible with human rights.

It was fast-tracked through Parliament last July, allowing security agencies to gather phone and internet data.

Two High Court judges have now found that the act is “inconsistent with EU law”.

The ruling effectively nullifies aspects of the legislation, although that order has been suspended until next March.

Mr Davis, a former Conservative minister and Mr Watson, a civil liberties campaigner who is standing to be Labour’s deputy leader, brought the case in conjunction with campaign group Liberty.

The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act permits Britain’s security agencies and some other public bodies to gather information about who suspects contact by telephone or email.

Camilla Wood

UK based Legal Aid Lawyer

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