The Snooper's Charter is the mass-surveillance bill the UK government is trying to ram through Parliament. It's incredibly, irresponsibly broad — and that's been the conclusion of every independent expert who's looked at it to date.
But now comes the most damning condemnation of all, an open letter signed by dozens of law professors and legal experts, from across the UK, declaring that the law "fails to meet international standards for surveillance powers" and is "not fit for purpose."
These are international standards found in judgments of the European court of justice and the European court of human rights, and in the recent opinion of the UN special rapporteur for the right to privacy. At present the bill fails to meet these standards – the law is unfit for purpose.
If the law is not fit for purpose, unnecessary and expensive litigation will follow, and further reform will be required. We urge members of the Commons and the Lords to ensure that the future investigatory powers legislation meets these international standards. Such a law could lead the world.
Investigatory powers bill not up to the task
(Image: Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Home Secretary, UK, Chatham House, CC-BY)