back to article UK spying law delayed while Lords demand Leveson amendments

The UK's Investigatory Powers Bill will not receive royal assent for at least another week as the Houses of Parliament disagree on an amendment regarding the regulation of the press. Despite widespread concerns, the bill – popularly known as the Snoopers' Charter – finished its passage through the House of Lords last week, but …

  1. RyszrdG

    The real news is that the UK public have just rolled over and accepted the most intrusive piece of legislation outside of China and North Korea in the false name of security. Voices in the wilderness notwithstanding a dark day for democracy and free will.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Not much rolling over...

      Any news about it didn't contain 'brexit', so the population didn't pay any attention.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      most of the UK public have just rolled over and accepted this piece of legislation and are fighting it, the use of VPN, Tor and others have gone up since gov would not listen to the public.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        *have not rolled over

    3. Chris Parsons


      You can't help wondering who the dimwit that downvoted was. St Theresa?

  2. Camilla Smythe

    Meanwhile in Turkey....

    Having stuffed the Judiciary Erdogan is now moving in on the 'Free Press'....

    Nothing like that happening in the UK. Oh No. Nothing to see here, move along now Citizen. Don't forget to pick up your Black/Brown shirt on your way to protest, peacefully, outside a 'beaks' private residence and sign the petition to change November 5th to National Book Burning Night. Oh, here is your new Library/National Identity Card.

    1. Gray

      Re: Meanwhile in Turkey....

      I believe it was Pogo who famously said, "We have met the enemy and they are us!"

    2. chris121254

      Re: Meanwhile in Turkey....

      you know most in the UK are pro EU right and the one wanting it to be like turkey minority also the brexit protest is not going to work

      1. chris121254

        Re: Meanwhile in Turkey....

        Are a small minority

        1. Camilla Smythe

          Re: Meanwhile in Turkey....


          Just in case I missed off the <sarc> tags but I kind of get the impression you understood where I was coming from and your response got a bit broken. I think @Gray gets it.

          My opinion is that May is a borderline psychotic who, having spent much of her time failing at the Home Office, is now out to prove she can succeed at her previous remit. That, in part, would be the introduction of The Investigatory Powers Bill and a reduction/elimination/reversal of Immigration. She is in a better position to do this than she has ever been and has a bunch of baying sycophantic loonies to back her up.

          I have played an ineffectual part in campaigning against the #IPBill prior to Brexit. Lah Lah Lah... We're not listening. In respect of Brexit I have taken a narrow view of matters but become more aware of just how much of an extensive and damaging clusterfuck it is likely to become over a wide range of issues.

          Prior to Brexit, IIRC, Cameron supported the ECHR and, apparently, May did as well. Presumably hanging on his coat-tails. There were however mumblings about a British Bill of Rights. My narrow view was that if we left the EU we would lose a wide range of protections that result from EU legislation being written into UK law and, in particular, protections that apply to communications. ICRs are a particular case in point.

          As the #IPBill is, loosely, written you might get the impression that there has been an effort to avoid too many noises under PECR, implemented according to 2002/85/EC. ICRs supposedly only include information that ISPs already collect as a result of providing their services..

          Article 5) begins Page 7)

          After Brexit, with Cameron gone, May changes her mind and goes back on the British Bill of Rights tack. We now have some sort of Great Blah-Blah Bollocks. Whatever it may be I envisage an effort to get rid and re-implement law/legislation within the UK and take the opportunity to scrub out any, as many, and all protections that existed before.

          Elsewhere I live in fear not of what this Country has become but what Brexit has exposed this Country to already be and the opportunity taken by others to crawl out of the wood now that the environment is right for them. I do not think rational minds will prevail. I do not think rational minds will be listened to.

          Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.

          ... No, actually she is not 'in heat again'. She is here in person.

          1. chris121254

            Re: Meanwhile in Turkey....

            rational minds will prevail in the end and many of them have just look at the article 50 court ruling but you are right a bit but I dont think she will able to pass British Bill of Rights and other stuff, most in the UK who voted leave seem to want us to stay in the EU after seeing how bad and evil May and her some amount of pro brexit are.

            but I dont think we will leave the EU in the end but we need to keep fighting the Torys and kick them out if there a early election and hopefully we will win in the end.

          2. Vic

            Re: Meanwhile in Turkey....

            My opinion is that May is a borderline psychotic

            ITYM "psychopath".

            "Psychotic" means something rather different, and I'm not sure it's possible to be borderline...


  3. not.known@this.address Bronze badge

    First the Brexit vote, now this.

    If a Representative Democracy is where the citizens vote and elect Representatives who vote along party lines UNLESS the citizens themselves vote directly in a Referendum, what do you call it when the citizens vote in a referendum and then one of the losers can get the citizens' decision overturned by a court?

    And what do you call the political system when the same court that can override the will of the people then demands that nobody can call them on it without being criminalized and reduced to destitution?

    (Can't help finding it rather ironic that a Lawyer declares that the law is wrong and takes HMG to court because she was on the losing side... And that said lawyer is effectively saying you can't leave the school bully's gang until the school bully gives his permission. Oh well, at least we live in a (representative) Democracy where the majority vote rules - unless a lawyer disagrees, apparently).

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

      Seeing as you raised the Brexit court decision and obviously disagree with it see if you can answer this:

      Article 50 starts:

      1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own

      constitutional requirements.

      What is the UK's constitutional requirement for this? Please quote an authority for your answer.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

      And what do you call the political system

      I call it UK. One of the only two countries in the world (the other one being Saudi Arabia) without a well defined complete system of fundamental law called constitution. If you do not like the way this country works, f*** LEAVE. Oh, sorry, without having any clue on how it works (and has worked since 1215), you have voted for the others, the smelly foreigners to LEAVE ('cause that was what the vote was really about). Here's some news for you - I suggest you learn the basic principles:

      1. Parliament is sovereign and cannot be bound unless it binds itself with a specific decision. Even in that case it can turn around a week later and do something different. An example here is the Bill of Rights (yes, UK used to have one). The parliament over time has canceled nearly all of the rights in that bill as it seemed convenient.

      2. The government has no right to suspend, cancel, amend or change any law unless specifically authorized by an act of parliament.

      3. The parliament did _NOT_ authorize the government to suspend, cancel, amend or change the Eu Communities act, the Human Rights act and a ton of other legislation which is required in order to invoke article 50. This is something even Josephina Vissarionovich May admits - she is preparing a "Grand Repeal Act".

      The court had absolutely no choice on the matter. They are there to uphold the law and the law of the land says that because the act which set up the referendum gave the government NO rights to enforce it, it has no choice but to go to the parliament every step of the way. Either that or do an Erdogan.

      1. genghis_uk

        Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

        Absolutely. I can't see why everyone is getting so upset about this.

        The referendum allowed the people to tell MPs WHAT they wanted. Whether you agree or not, we got an answer.

        The court is telling the government HOW the will of the people should be enacted to meet the law as it stands. There is no conflict as far as Brexit goes. The problem could come if MPs do not vote in the way their constituencies did but that would cause all sorts of issues so it is unlikely.

        So the only real issue is that a lot of people (and a couple of newspapers) seem to think that the referendum was the vote to leave rather than an indication to parliament that they should start the process. Oberführer May and her cronies thought they had the authority to act independently from parliament but the courts have told them they can't - I think the appeal is more of a hissy fit as they have been embarrassed

        Back to the Snoopers Charter though, the fact that there has been virtually no publicity or major opposition can almost be considered criminal neglect from the press and the opposition - even if they agree, their job is to argue the point to ensure fair deliberation. No attempt to include amendments or advice from a series of experts means that it will be a disaster from day one and open to all sorts of interpretation... I hate to think what the next few years will bring us!

        1. MGJ

          Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

          MPs consistently vote in ways that a majority of their constituents may not want, on a variety of issues, but historically capital punishment is one where a majority of constituents are/were in favour of it returning but the representatives who we pay to think about things deeply looked at the complicated issues around the subject and decided on several occasions that they were not in favour of it returning (and would not be whipped into so doing).

          1. genghis_uk

            Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

            True MGJ, but capital punishment is usually a knee jerk response to the press demanding action against kiddie fiddlers and rapists which has a relatively short attention span. Other examples would be assisted suicide where MPs vote on moral grounds that may not be really representative or even cannabis legalisation where FUD appears to rule the day.

            However, Brexit has had such a polarising effect and global awareness that if MPs now voted against it there would be a backlash that could threaten a lot of seats. If there is one thing a political will protect at all costs it is their parliamentary seat. In all of the above examples voting on moral grounds can be seen as safe in the Brexit case it is not.

            1. Mark 110 Silver badge

              Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

              If MPs just let it rolled through unscrutinised there could well be a backlash that will threaten alot of seats.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

          "I think the appeal is more of a hissy fit as they have been embarrassed"

          It may be but even so I think it's the right thing to do. Imagine the situation if it was left at this stage, the MPs voted for May's bill, Article 50 was invoked and then someone was to appeal the current decision to the Supreme Court alleging that it wasn't legally invoked. Taking it to the Supreme Court rules out any further uncertainty which is simply the sensible thing to do.

          As is leaving it to the MPs. After a few more % of inflation and a few big employers indicating they'll leave the UK MPs voting against invoking Article 50 could be hailed as popular saviours. A week is a long time in politics: there are quite a few weeks between now and March.

    3. michael cadoux

      Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

      Nobody has blocked Brexit, despite the hysterical frothing by Murdoch, Desmond and Rothermere papers lying about the judgement. Brexit won't even be delayed unless May plays silly beggars. She can schedule Parliamentary time for debates on how to go about it, followed by voting on a resolution or by repealing the 1972 European Communities Act.

      The principle of the sovereignty of Parliament (now remind me who kept on about "Take Back Control"?) was asserted by chopping off Charles I's head in 1649, then telling William & Mary to mind their Ps and Qs because Parliament was supreme by passing the Bill of Rights in 1689. The Executive should be accountable to Parliament.

      1. IsJustabloke Silver badge

        Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

        "Nobody has blocked Brexit"

        I I think this is the issue, a lot of people on both sides of the debate are assuming that parliament (mostly PRO-EU) will see this is as a means of blocking it and in doing so will have subverted the the "will of the majority who voted". TBF there is a real possibility that some will try , for instance Corbyn is already shouting how he's going to block it if he doesn't get this or doesn't get that.

        For the record, there should be parliament oversight BUT it shouldn't be used to block anything. if parliament did have the country's wellbeing at heart they'd all be pulling together to get the best possible outcome but of course we know that her majesty's Opposition must oppose at all costs and that a politician can never be allowed to change his/her mind.

        The whole thing has been badly handled by the very people that an awful lot of people (many on this thread) constantly tell us should now be the wiser heads that we should trust. (except of course they're not wise enough to know how to use the snoopers charter. You can't have it both ways, they get their will on "this" but not on "that")

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

      "at least we live in a (representative) Democracy where the majority vote rules"

      You sure about that? Less than 38% of the electorate (52% of 72% turnout) voted for Brexit.

    5. veti Silver badge

      Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

      what do you call it when the citizens vote in a referendum and then one of the losers can get the citizens' decision overturned by a court?

      I call it a "country".

      See, we have these things called "laws", and you can do whatever you want provided you work within those laws. But you do have to work within them. Otherwise you can get into a lot of trouble.

      Hope this helps.

  4. chris121254

    I just want to say that most of the UK public are against this spying bill and against a hard brexit, the ones who want this are a small minority of right wingers, anyway in the end brexit will fall apart and May will be kick out.

    1. Chris Parsons

      I hope you're right. I fear you're wrong.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    on the plus side?

    "This coerces "publishers of news-related material" into "voluntarily" submitting to regulatory bodies approved by the state, or when taken to court be forced to pay claimants' costs, even if the court determines that the publisher was innocent."

    "news-related material" includes politicians spouting off about events; publishers includes people saying stuff online, so every time a politician tweets something stupid, we can all sue, lose, but the politician has to pay our costs (with no control whatsoever on what those costs are) .....

    1. MGJ

      Re: on the plus side?

      Sadly us Scots will be excluded from this (which is partly why the section has not yet been enacted) because Scots Law does not allow punitive damages like this.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: on the plus side?

        Ironically this would make England far more attractive to immigrants who would rather not explain the source of their wealth ( is there such a thing as a "wealthy immigrant", or are they automatically reclassified as a "foreign investor" ? )

  6. Fonant

    Private Eye

    Private Eye are not amused about the implications of this.

    1. Dr Scrum Master

      Re: Private Eye

      If the effect of press regulation is to lead to the demise of Private Eye then it will be a very sad day for journalism in the UK

    2. richardcox13

      Re: Private Eye

      Indeed, but like much of the press (including in this article) The Press are being disingenuous.

      The press get to pay all costs even if they win if they refuse to go via arbitration. But, and this is the balance, the complainant gets to pay all costs if they refuse to go via arbitration.

      The reality is that much of the press read a few headlines (not the actual proposed rules) and then spout off. This is driven by a few "leading" editors who want a toothless "regulator" so they can continue to write whatever they like knowing the vast majority cannot risk launching a libel complaint.

    3. Omar Smith

      Re: Private Eye

      > Private Eye are not amused about the implications of this.

      Private Eye were neutered a long time ago. Witness their total lack of interest in the 'Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse' farce. Exaronews were actually doing a better job until they got shutdown.

  7. veti Silver badge

    So let's get this straight...

    If you're a government-licensed "news publisher", you can do what you like and not be taken to court - is that right?

    And if you're not, then when you get taken to court, you have to pay whether you're guilty or not?

    This is the very worst kind of law: the kind that creates a two-tier justice system.

    When I was trained as a journalist, in the 80s, my trainer very proudly drummed into me: "The only special privilege a journalist has, the only right you can ever claim, is the right to be treated exactly like every other bugger. Anyone can whip out a camera or a notepad, anyone can talk to people, anyone can publish what they want. Having a press card doesn't make you immune to squat."

    That's a great principle. It's the absolute foundation of a free press. Don't let Ms May fuck it up any further.

    1. IsJustabloke Silver badge

      Re: So let's get this straight...

      "So let's get this straight...

      If you're a government-licensed "news publisher", you can do what you like and not be taken to court - is that right?"

      No, it's more of a government sanctioned trade body, that has a say in what you can and cannot publish, any given media outlet is free not to join but faces these punitive "charges" if they don't AND get taken to court, irrespective of the result. Obviously, it'll cost more if you lose.

  8. MJI Silver badge

    Am I alone in....

    missing Cameron?

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Am I alone in....

      Just because May is worse, doesn't mean that Cameron was good.

      In fact, I struggle to remember a single government in the last 50 years I could call 'good'. Maybe John Smith would have worked out, but we didn't get the chance to find out. So he might have been just as disappointing as Obama.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Am I alone in....

        last 50 years

        I see what you mean, lots of disappointment

        But do you know who was one of the least damaging, and now a pretty well respected person?

        The forgotton man John Major

    2. Chris Parsons

      Re: Am I alone in....

      I know what you mean, not sure I'd go that far. I never thought I would hate a PM as much as I hated Tony Blair, but, hey, I was wrong.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Am I alone in....

        I saw their short list of 5 and thought oh is that the best they have.


        Irritating loathsom woman

        Mrs Bossy

        Mr funny looking Bichon owner with viscious wife

        Mr I can't even remember who

        Labour has Citizen Clown, UKIP have a funny looking bloke with a foreign name.

        I can see a huge Lib Dem upsurge in the near future

  9. Andy The Hat Silver badge


    Are there any rules and regulations for the operation of the state censor ... I mean regulator?

  10. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Separate issue of the regulation of the press

    You mean that bit where the press are being coerced into submitting to state censorship or have to pay costs for both sides in a libel case, even if they win.

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