european court of justice

EU court rules UK snooper’s charter illegal

Indiscriminate collection of emails is illegal, EU court rules in response to challenge originally brought by David Davis.

Now I have a problem here. I am NOT in favour of the European Union, nor of us being under the European court of justice. Having said that… I am not in favour of the government collecting all of our emails and browsing data either.

OK, if I had the choice I would say, ‘let us get out of the EU, then we can tackle our government’s problems, but while we are still in the EU, I guess I am happy for us to make the best use we can of its powers.

The EU’s highest court has ruled that “General and indiscriminate retention” of emails and electronic communications by governments is illegal. This judgment will undoubtedly trigger further challenges against the UK’s new Investigatory Powers Act – the so-called snooper’s charter.

The European court of justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg’s decision implies that only targeted interception of traffic and location data in order to combat serious crime – including terrorism – is justified, should be allowed.

This is one small step forward, but we really need to bring this before the Lord, seeking his preservation of our freedom.

The problem with laws that are so loosely written as the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is that they suffer from creep. We were originally told that the UK’s abortion laws would only lead to a handful of emergency abortions each year, but now there are now nearly 200,000 abortions in the UK and the acceptance of abortions as normal has spread almost right across the world. In Sep 2005 an 82-year-old Labour Party member was roughly thrown out of the party conference for heckling Jack Straw. When he tried to re-enter the secure zone, he was stopped by a police officer citing the Terrorism Act.

There can be many good arguments made for the Investigatory Powers Act, the need to combat terrorism or child trafficking being just two. But it will not stop there. In the end, it will, unless checked, end up stopping the free exercise of investigation and free speech.

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