So, I wrote my MP, Sam Gyimah:
Haven’t written in a while, but this new ‘Communications Data Bill’ has really got me worried.
While I have absolutely nothing to hide, I believe that too many people having access to too much of my information – personal information – that can be easily accesses and held insecurely, is a terrible idea. I’m also fairly sure that, given the track record of data-loss by organisations in this country, the access will not be properly regulated.
Collecting and having access to this data by law-enforcement, with a warrant, is a good idea, but only in small measures and certainly not the broad strokes the bill lays out and without adequate safeguards.
Why is it the EVERYBODY’S data will be collected and stored – mine, yours, my mothers and not JUST those who are under suspicion? I pretty sure there is no good reason to collect this information about me without my consent and further, there can never be a reason why this data can be accessed so easily and without warrant. Who get’s to decide who accesses this data? Law enforcement. Do they need a reason? Probably not – that’s the meaning of warrantless.
Hiding under a shroud of “maintaining capability”, whatever THAT means, the bill, in it’s current form, is dangerous and alarming. Much of the data the bill makes reference too, held by services like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc, is much richer than that of a telephone conversation and, once mined, will probably highlight things about me that I don’t even know. This is invasive and most unwelcome.
This kind of snooping and data storage requires stringent oversight to make sure that people are not put at risk.
I have seen no evidence to support the need for this bill. It undermines the commitment of the coalition (which YOU are a part of Sam), to enhance our civil liberties.
I would like you, on my behalf, to oppose this bill unless it changes significantly. On top of that, I’d like you to make others aware of what dangers this poses and how it could be abused. Control over these kind of powers needs to be tightened, not loosened as this bill requires.