Consumer Group responds to the Second Reading of the Updated Investigatory Powers Bill

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March 15, 2016

Consumer Group Condemns “Dangerous” Snoopers’ Charter

SumOfUs responds to the Second Reading of the Updated Investigatory Powers Bill

Responding to the second reading of the updated Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, Hanna Thomas, Campaign Manager for SumOfUs, a consumer watchdog with more than 1 million members in the UK issued the following statement:

“Home Secretary Theresa May’s Investigatory Powers Bill is a cynical power-grab that would erode the fundamental privacy protections that are guaranteed to every citizen in the UK. This bill puts our personal lives under direct threat and has dangerous implications for consumers, citizens and the future of privacy in the UK.

“Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Vodafone have expressed concerns about this dangerous bill that would open up private data for government review. This dramatic increase in the State’s surveillance powers could shatter encryption protections that keep our data safe and make private communications more vulnerable to hacks and leaks.

“SumOfUs represents more than 1 million UK consumers who don’t want to be spied on by the government. We stand with experts and business leaders in demanding our MPs defeat this bill.”

Earlier today, Parliament held its second reading of Home Secretary Theresa May’s updated Investigatory Powers Bill. Known as the Snoopers’ Charter, the new legislation would dramatically increase the state’s surveillance powers.

The proposed bill could require telecommunication companies to stop encrypting private data, require internet service providers to keep detailed records on users, and open up user data to government in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. More than 71,000 SumOfUs members in the UK have signed a petition to BT asking the company to speak out against the bill, including more than 26,000 BT customers and 1,600 BT shareholders.

VIEW THE PETITION HERE: https://action.sumofus.org/a/bt-snoopers-charter/

SumOfUs has a long record of working to protect internet freedom - mobilising tens of thousands of internet users in the US to submit public comments, sign petitions and make phone calls that protected net neutrality rules in the US. SumOfUs led the charge that stalled NHS England’s sale of personal medical data to big businesses and pharmaceutical companies.