The Open Rights Group (ORG) has announced that it intends to take the UK government to court over the passing of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) bill under the guise of a national emergency.
Created in secret by a cross-party special interest group, DRIP is a response to a European Court of Justice ruling that made the government's requirements for ISPs and other communications providers to store and provide access to data on their customers illegal. It was introduced as an emergency bill earlier this month, and passed by a landslide majority
in a debate on the 15th of July attended by fewer than 10 per cent of MPs.
Its critics claim the bill, which includes provisions excluding MPs and Lords from the same monitoring as the proletariat, was inadequately debated, devised in secret and rushed through Parliament under a false claim of life-saving emergency. Claims by MPs who voted and argued for the bill that it introduces no new powers have been rubbished, and the 49 MPs who voted against DRIP are understandably displeased.
ORG, a UK-based privacy campaign group, has stated that it intends to fight the matter. 'The courts will have the final say on whether DRIP breaches human rights. And no matter what David Cameron believes, the UK has international obligations. The European Convention of Human Rights, the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and our own Human Rights Act all exist to defend are rights and are where we will be able to challenge DRIP. And that’s what we will do,
' the ORG's Jim Killock claimed in a post
on the matter. 'We’re already meeting with lawyers and taking Counsel’s advice to work out the best way to take the Government to court. We will work every other group who is willing to help. But a major legal battle like this is going to be tough.
The DRIP bill, now the DRIP Act, has been passed by Parliament and given royal assent - meaning such a legal challenge is the only thing standing between what its critics call a snoopers' charter and law.