When introduced in November, 2010, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said that "we must ensure that law enforcement has the means to bring to justice those who would break the law. Twenty-first-century technology demands twenty-first-century tools for police to effectively investigate crime.”
Because they faced a minority government, the Tories didn’t have the votes to get the legislation through. But now that they have a majority political observers believe the Conservatives will likely succeed in getting what they want.
The most controversial of the three acts is what was called the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act, which lets law enforcement and security agencies get an order from a designated peace officer – not a judge – obliging ISPs to hand over certain personal identifying subscriber information.
That would include the name, address, telephone number and electronic mail address of any subscriber to any of the service provider’s telecommunications services and the Internet protocol address, mobile identification number, electronic serial number, local service provider identifier, international mobile equipment identity number, international mobile subscriber identity number and subscriber identity module card number that are associated with the subscriber’s service and equipment.
To intercept email, text messages and other communications police would have to get a judicial warrant.
The approach, complained Cavoukian at Friday’s seminar, goes against the “privacy by design” philosophy for governments and businesses that she has been urging. The strategy embeds citizen privacy policies in business practices and network infrastructure.
Instead, if unchanged, the Conservative legislation represents “surveillance by design,” she said.