Civil Society Briefing on the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill

commons dayThe Civil Society groups behind the Don’t Spy On Us coalition have produced a briefing on the fast-track Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (PDF).

You can read our initial analysis of the emergency legislation announcement, as well as our amendment recommendations here.


The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill was published on 10th July 2014 following a press conference given by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister announcing emergency surveillance legislation. They indicated that the leader of the Opposition had already given Labour’s support to the Bill following private cross-party discussions and this was confirmed by the Shadow Home Secretary in the Chamber later in the day. The Bill is now due to receive all its substantive stages in the House of Commons next Tuesday 16th July. The Lords will be invited to pass the Bill on Wednesday and the Commons will consider any Lords amendments on Thursday. Royal Assent is to be granted before summer recess and the legislation will come into effect immediately. Parliamentary scrutiny and debate is  therefore effectively neutered and it is unlikely that the Bill will be substantively amended.

In introducing this legislation, the security services, civil service and Coalition and the Opposition leaders have demonstrated a staggering disregard for parliamentary democracy and the Rule of Law. If there is any opportunity for amendment we recommend that the Bill’s sunset is brought forward to reflect its supposedly temporary nature. The Bill is currently due to expire on 31 December 2016 – two and a half years away. Given widespread public, international and commercial concern about the Government’s surveillance powers (which are significantly extended here) and the likely unlawful nature of at least part of the Bill’s substance, we strongly advise parliamentarians to amend the sunset expiry date to 31 December 2014. This will at least ensure that RIPA review takes place in a timely manner and Parliament is able to reassert its constitutional function.

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Research and reports | 6 Comments


  1. Kevin Hunt
    14th July 2014

    Please sign my petition against this on 38 Degrees now!


    We must resist this anti-democratic dangerous tosh with all our might.

  2. Alan
    14th July 2014

    The state does as it pleases. If that falls within what the general population believe to be democracy, then all well and good, if not then who will be able to prove otherwise? The system ensures the integrity of the system. History illustrates how effective that system is. Unfortunately for us we are only viewed as a source of revenue and exploitation in order to maintain the system called Britain. Ever wondered why given the intelligence and resources so little is achieved that actually benefits the population? Data retention? that isn’t even half of it.

  3. Anon
    14th July 2014

    Democracy, huh what’s that? We have no say anymore so it can’t be a democracy. Definitely looking more like a dictatorship.

    • Anonymous
      19th July 2014

      Democracy, huh what’s that? We have no say anymore so it can’t be a democracy. Definitely looking more like a dictatorship.

      The British population are not intelligent enough as a whole to stop the wheels of dictatorship from moving in.

      They’d rather sit on their backsides watching X-Factor and Coronation Street.

      Remember, for evil to be successful, is for good men to do absolutely nothing.

  4. Eroding our freedom one DRIP at a time | Anthony Lopez-Vito
    16th July 2014

    […] obvious that people don’t want this kind of mass surveillance so they’re trying to rush it through using emergency legislation. […]