This new emergency surveillance bill poses no threat to privacy. The coalition should be proud of it.
For supporters of the use of intercept evidence in criminal trials – that’s to say real-time recordings of conspirators convicting themselves out of their own mouths – there is something surprising about some of the reaction to the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (the unfortunately monikered Drip), before the House of Lords tomorrow. People involved in serious crime talk to each other, just like the rest of us do. They use telephones and the internet, and they send each other emails.
And if, bizarrely, prosecutors are still not permitted to rely on recordings of conspirators discussing their crimes, at least they have long been allowed to make use of the fact that the conversations took place.
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