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UK Government Faces Lawsuit Over Emergency Surveillance Bill

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the spilled-some-state-oppression dept.

United Kingdom 44

judgecorp (778838) writes The British Government has had to produce an emergency surveillance Bill after the European Court of Justice ruled that European rules on retaining metadata were illegal. That Bill has now been passed by the House of Commons with almost no debate, and will become law if approved by the House of Lords. But the so-called DRIP (Data retention and Investigatory Powers) Bill could face a legal challenge: the Open Rights Group (ORG) is fundraising to bring a suit which would argue that blanket data retention is unlawful, so these emergency measures would be no more legal than the ones they replaced.

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first post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47487381)

w00t!

Support for this was not unanimous (4, Informative)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 3 months ago | (#47487413)

Some lawmakers were not so keen [forasach.ie] on the fast-tracking of this legislation. Checks and balances are there for a reason, it's a shame that they can be sidetracked when politically expedient.

Re:Support for this was not unanimous (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47487475)

My fetid cock wants to drill into that rancid rectum of yours! Drill, baby, drill! My cock's going on an adventure of a lifetime. The future of my smelly cock is filled with parasite-ridden feces!

What say you?

Re:Support for this was not unanimous (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 3 months ago | (#47488087)

Some lawmakers were not so keen [forasach.ie] on the fast-tracking of this legislation. Checks and balances are there for a reason, it's a shame that they can be sidetracked when politically expedient.

Checks and Balances is such a joke these days that "LOL" should be an acceptable answer in school when students are tested on it. And this reminds me of how many members of Congress actually read the Obamacare document before voting people's lives away with it.

Of course, we should expect nothing less from lawmakers who define themselves as above the laws they make for everyone else.

Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (4, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | about 3 months ago | (#47487421)

New acts of parliament supercede previous laws regardless of source due to Parliamentary Supremecy, a fundamental pillar of English law.... Parliament is the supreme law-making body: its Acts are the highest source of English law.

Unlike in other countries such as the US, there is no such thing as an unconstitutional law, or an act of parliament being "illegal" if properly passed, because there is no constitution in the UK, and an act of the parliament duly passed is supreme.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47487441)

there is no constitution in the UK

False. It's just not a "written constitution" - IOW it is a body of tradition that everyone recognises, along with certain Acts which are regarded as more important than others (especially relevant when the law conflicts, as normally the later would just cancel out the earlier).

Consider: If there were no constitution, what would be the legal basis for Parliamentary supremacy?

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47487465)

God, your asshole is just so rancid! My fetid cock is drooling at the thought of being able to drill into that smelly, parasite-infested ass of yours! If I'm lucky, I might even be able to drill into some disease-ridden feces in addition to giving your bare bowels a little cock smooch! Ah, what a wondrous day it would be for me to mix my foul cum with your disgusting feces!

What say you? What say you? What say you? What say you? What say you? What say you? What say you? What say you? What say you? What say you? What say you? What say you? What say you? What say you?

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (4, Informative)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 3 months ago | (#47487519)

there is no constitution in the UK

False. It's just not a "written constitution" - IOW it is a body of tradition that everyone recognises, along with certain Acts which are regarded as more important than others (especially relevant when the law conflicts, as normally the later would just cancel out the earlier).

Consider: If there were no constitution, what would be the legal basis for Parliamentary supremacy?

It's a system of threats and balances. The queen grants a constitutional basis to the parliament and the parliament grants continued existence to the queen. It's worked quite well since Cromwell. Much more stable than these new fangled republics.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47488141)

It's a system of threats and balances. The queen grants a constitutional basis to the parliament and the parliament grants continued existence to the queen. It's worked quite well since Cromwell. Much more stable than these new fangled republics.

Only because the public would never totally accept a republic. Most if asked, would rather have the Queen than not.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (3, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | about 3 months ago | (#47487521)

Consider: If there were no constitution, what would be the legal basis for Parliamentary supremacy?

The legal basis being the monarch in a sovereign monarchy has absolute power; England is a sovereign monarchy, and the courts rely on this sovereignty to get to say anything.

The monarchy was then forced to cede many of their God-given powers after the Glorious revolution in 1689; at which time parliament passed the Bill of Rights asserting Parliament to be supreme, even over the monarch, and the "truce" between Monarchy and Parliament, effectively forever moved the supreme source of law to Parliament by agreement.

Re: Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47487977)

The relationship between the 'Crown' and parliament is more conplicated than you realise:

http://rense.com/general63/tcs.htm

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47488041)

And not well known nor discussed Gave many of them back to Charles the 2nd.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493503)

.. to cede many of their God-given powers after the Glorious revolution in 1689

The Glorious Revolution of Capitalisation of God's Initial Letters of the United Kingdom of England.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 3 months ago | (#47499249)

So how do you think the data retention law was slapped down in the first place as being an overreach then genius?

Of course some laws supersede others - the human rights act for example has resulted in many rulings that deem newer laws to be invalid.

Parliament can still held to account by the judiciary and it is ultimately the judiciary that determine what happens when one law conflicts with another - there's no automatic "newest wins" as you originally claimed.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (2, Insightful)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 3 months ago | (#47487493)

Unlike in other countries such as the US, there is no such thing as an unconstitutional law, or
an act of parliament being "illegal" if properly passed

There isn't in the US anymore either.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (4, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | about 3 months ago | (#47487525)

Parliament is the supreme law-making body: its Acts are the highest source of English law.

Unlike in other countries such as the US, there is no such thing as an unconstitutional law, or an act of parliament being "illegal" if properly passed, because there is no constitution in the UK, and an act of the parliament duly passed is supreme.

No. It isn't. UK law must be in accordance with EU treaty requirements.

I am beginning to suspect that they whole anti-EU campaign is not really an astroturfing (and use of the useful idiots) by the 1%ers to get rid of those pesky EU laws that are preventing unrestrained wealth acquisition by the rich at the expense of the poor.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 3 months ago | (#47487529)

ugh... s/is not really/is really/

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47487613)

No, it doesn't.

The UK Parliament can pass a law that directly contradicts a treaty. A judge faced with a law that also gives clear direction that the intention was to override European law should have no choice but to interpret it so, rather than assume as now that the intention is to remain in accord with Europe given the prior acts Parliament have passed that speak to exactly that.

Of course the UK would then be in breach of a treaty with the EU which is a completely separate matter. And yes you're right, how could anyone not love a massive command-based supranational state with poor democratic issues, endemic corruption, and a legal code largely directed at controlling behaviour rather than respecting individual rights. Worked out really fucking well last time.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (3, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | about 3 months ago | (#47487643)

The UK Parliament can pass a law that directly contradicts a treaty. A judge faced with a law that also gives clear direction that the intention was to override European law should have no choice but to interpret it so, rather than assume as now that the intention is to remain in accord with Europe given the prior acts Parliament have passed that speak to exactly that.

Once again, No [wikipedia.org]

And yes you're right, how could anyone not love a massive command-based supranational state with poor democratic issues, endemic corruption, and a legal code largely directed at controlling behaviour rather than respecting individual rights. Worked out really fucking well last time.

The EU has its problems. But for the UK, pulling out would be worse. In order to trade with EU members, the UK would still have to follow many EU requirements, but without any influence over the setting of those requirements. Those car factories in the UK? Likely closed, like so many other businesses as exporting to EU countries becomes difficult.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47487791)

Once again, no. Please do people the courtesy of reading what was written and applying a little more thought than keyword matching to your responses.

> A judge faced with a law that also gives clear direction
This means that Parliament can make a law explicitly overrule any treaty and override the current judicial presumption that it didn't intend to. Parliament remains supreme but simply chooses not to. Do you need to look up what explicit means?

As for your other cruft, it's opinion. My view is that we do not have to be in an undemocratic organisation in order to influence it, but it's a nice lie that is peddled to us. The EU has major problems, and is fundamentally a political technocratic union that does not have sufficient checks and balances to control it. You may not have noticed, but the world outside the EU still trades with it. Do you have any evidential basis for believing that the sky would fall without it?

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (1)

Sique (173459) | about 3 months ago | (#47487961)

And what would be the result? The UK would face a treaty violation suit and would have to pay a monthly or yearly sum to the E.U. until they are in compliance again.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47488081)

That's changing the subject, it still means that EU law is not supreme. How is the weather in Brussels today btw?

But let's take your line of thought. The EU is there, and we can't question it because bad stuff happens blah blah blah.

Let's suppose that the UK Parliament explicitly overrode a European law, for example, after a referendum question. Let's suppose the EU levies a fine. Let's suppose the UK doesn't pay.

Are you suggesting that our EU friends, in a fine demonstration of respecting democratic will, would invade the UK and force it to cede sovereignty?

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47490241)

Let's suppose that the UK Parliament explicitly overrode a European law, for example, after a referendum question. Let's suppose the EU levies a fine. Let's suppose the UK doesn't pay.

Then the EU will consider trade sanctions against the UK.

You understand that they can do that, right?

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493645)

Yes, I do. So?

It still remains a fact that EU law is not supreme in the UK.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47514141)

Sir, I have to remind you, that, It does.

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/oct/09/human-rights-eu-law-powerful [theguardian.com]

Take your uneducated astroturfing shit elsewhere

When your taxpayers have to pay whopping fines, and you are in the guardian and other business (broadsheet newspapers) because you're wasting taxpayers money on non-compliance. Nice way of being kicked out of number 10.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 3 months ago | (#47487775)

I am beginning to suspect that they whole anti-EU campaign is not really an astroturfing (and use of the useful idiots) by the 1%ers to get rid of those pesky EU laws that are preventing unrestrained wealth acquisition by the rich at the expense of the poor.

I might agree, if I didn't hear stupid things coming out of the EU parliament like the ability to turn on any countries printing press and just print money to fix debt issues. Or the variety of nuts that believe, much like in the US and Canada that our "national borders" are pesky things and we should just open them up far and wide and let everyone in. That one doesn't go over well, especially with legal immigrants.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47488289)

I am beginning to suspect that they whole anti-EU campaign is not really an astroturfing

I believe the whole UKIP movement is purely an astroturfing exercise by the UK government or some shadow government (the NWO kind, not Labour)

Once we're out of Europe, the UK Govt can do what the hell it likes which is why I wouldn't be seen dead voting UKIP or its ilk.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47488301)

I am beginning to suspect that they whole anti-EU campaign is not really an astroturfing

I believe the whole UKIP movement is purely an astroturfing exercise by the UK government or some shadow government (the NWO kind, not Labour)

Once we're out of Europe, the UK Govt can do what the hell it likes which is why I wouldn't be seen dead voting UKIP or its ilk.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (3, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | about 3 months ago | (#47487621)

The GCHQ has just the kind of legal history with this kind of project.
The bulk data interest could always be seen as with the first Intelsat (international satellite telephone calls) efforts at Goonhilly Downs -CSO Morwenstow,/GCHQ Bude got every keyword of interest in the late 1960's. Staff asked why domestic calls and numbers where also been tracked after they where only tasked to international calls. The retaining domestic metadata idea went on with little internal legal comment.
When the GCHQ/Intelsat news got into print in the early 1990's nothing was done. There was no legal protection decades ago. There was no protection once domestic collection tasks made it into the UK press. On into the 1990's the UK had new laws around the SIGMod funding initiative (sigint modernisation programme) to further clear up any domestic legal issues over domestic data sorting. The other legal magic is to pass telco work to SIS or other "agencies'". Then you have the vast US shared sites that can capture all but have even less to do with UK laws. More legal cover can flow form "ministerial level" support. If the political class is questioned they will never comment on past or ongoing security issues.
ie law reform cannot get past secrecy laws or get political comment reducing all domestic legal protections to chilling living document status.
One person might risk 20 years and another might have all changes dropped to get the story out of the media.
The fun legal part for the UK is now to make US "parallel construction" very legal. They want to use what they intercept or decode in closed courts so the structures have to have a legal expert evidence trail. The UK is back to the days of National Criminal Intelligence Service, Government Telecommunications Advisory Centre, Government Technical Assistance Centre (GTAC ~ GCHQ Technical Assistance Centre) to try and help courts with decryption, domestic and global tracking.
Will it work? Anyone with the cash can buy ex gov staff to sell them the super expensive advice: stay away from all electronic telco products.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (0)

geekmux (1040042) | about 3 months ago | (#47488093)

...Unlike in other countries such as the US, there is no such thing as an unconstitutional law, or an act of parliament being "illegal" if properly passed, because there is no constitution in the UK, and an act of the parliament duly passed is supreme.

Unlike other countries such as the US, their government and representatives may actually follow the fundamental laws their predecessors (or founders) created.

Not sure if you've noticed or not, but there's no such thing as an unconstitutional law in the US either. We've proven that over and over and over again.

Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (1)

SirAudioMan (2836381) | about 3 months ago | (#47488427)

I was going to ask if they had anything to protect them like the US constitution or more similarly due to history and the parliamentary system, the Canadian Charter and Rights and Freedoms in Canada (our constitution). In Canada, theoretically, all laws passed by any government must pass the Charter and not infringe on them. It's a shame, but no surprise, that our fellow citizens of the UK have no such protection from their own government. Not that the US or Canada is much better but at least there is some due process to ultimately challenge and make known this crap is happening, as both the US and Canada can challenged at their Supreme Courts, respectively.

Slashdot Editors are Morons (-1, Troll)

oldhack (1037484) | about 3 months ago | (#47487479)

See subjects. What, am I wrong? Lamer, being a noon, used to do better, and recently...

fp niGGa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47487481)

People break the law, go to jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47487631)

Government people break the law, they pass new law.

Biased and wrong summary (flamebait) (2)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 3 months ago | (#47487825)

The British Government has had to produce an emergency surveillance Bill

No, it didn't have to, EU just told it not to do this and many organisations and people strongly protested against such a move.

EU court just told UK that the data retention law is illegal - so what did they do? make another law to do exactly the same thing, WTF?

Re:Biased and wrong summary (flamebait) (3, Informative)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 3 months ago | (#47487871)

EU court just told UK that the data retention law is illegal - so what did they do? make another law to do exactly the same thing, WTF?

Well, not quite. As far as I understand, the ECJ declared the snooping law unlawful because it was too broad, and outlined what restrictions would need to be placed on any replacement snooping law. So parliament is basically just passing a new law with those restrictions in it to satisfy the ECJ.

Of course, that doesn't make the law right, but then neither was the original law.

I've written a bit about it on my blog [nexusuk.org] .

Re:Biased and wrong summary (flamebait) (1)

Heed00 (1473203) | about 3 months ago | (#47488151)

So parliament is basically just passing a new law with those restrictions in it to satisfy the ECJ.

That's completely false. The new law extends the powers over the previous law: https://www.openrightsgroup.or... [openrightsgroup.org]

Furthermore:

DRIP ignores the main part of the CJEU ruling - that blanket data retention severely interferes with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data. The government has claimed that other aspects of the Bill will strengthen oversight and transparency. For example, they claim it will restrict the number of public bodies that can request communications data. Yet this concession does not appear in DRIP or the secondary legislation that will implement it. There has been no acknowledgment of the legal requirement to preserve UK citizens’ right to privacy.

Re:Biased and wrong summary (flamebait) (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#47488297)

They were criticised by the EU for not implementing the necessary changes. They just passed more or less what we had before, in the hope that by the time anyone has managed to sue them they will have yet another law ready.

Re:Biased and wrong summary (flamebait) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47487891)

False. The bill in question merely extended what was already in place. The very next day over 600 peadophiles were arrested.

Re:Biased and wrong summary (flamebait) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47487915)

and there is a constant stream of arrests of Muslims for ploting terrorist activities. Who knows how many peoplw would have been killed if it wasnt for this law

Re:Biased and wrong summary (flamebait) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47487925)

Zero.

Zionist Occupied Government. ZOG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47487949)

Do I need to say any more? This is just more JEW surveillance of their 'cattle', making sure none of us speak out against their tyranny. Who runs the banks? Did you know that banks create money out of thin air, every time they make a loan? Did you know that 97% of the money in the UK is 'bank money', which means it was created out of nothing by banks when they issued loans, and therefore the banks OWN 97% of everything in the country? That money is OWED and has to be PAID BACK - how is that even possible? This is Jewish slavery, and some asshole on here will mod me down in order to try to make sure nobody else finds out about it. Don't believe me, try researching this for yourself.

Britain under heavy attack (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 3 months ago | (#47490933)

When will the terrorists let up?!

Who can I vote for to stop this kind of thing? (1)

tomtomtom (580791) | about 3 months ago | (#47495569)

The main three parties were all in favour of this. This wasn't just a stitch-up amongst the leadership with the MPs given a free choice - the party machinery was obviously forcing their MPs to vote in favour too. At this point I feel deeply embarassed to be British, as the way our elected representatives have acted makes the rubber-stamp parliaments in third world military dictatorships look better. I don't understand why even the Lib Dems were for this - electorally they have pretty much nothing to lose at this point and it would at least make them look like they had SOME of the principles people thought they had.

I'm not fortunate enough to have a local MP who voted even half-against this. I wrote to her and she wrote me a long, obviously cut and pasted email response (even down to the differing font sizes for different sections of text). Didn't even mention her personal views, just what Ed Miliband (the leader of the Labour party) had as his soundbite of the day.

So what I'd desparately like to know is, who can I vote for at the next election who won't stand for this sort of bullshit. If there is someone who is actually against this, and who has proper credibility (i.e. not the Lib Dems), I'd love to know. I'd rather not vote for the Greens (I am naturally a free market sort of person and would like to see a libertarian conservative type of candidate elected) but if they're the only option, they've got my vote as a result of this.

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