The Liberal Party notes with concern that the Investigatory Powers Act has now received royal assent. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it represents one of the most significant transfers of power from people to the state in our lifetime.
The bill will allow the surveillance of anyone (and potentially everyone) in the UK, without the need for suspicion of involvement in a crime or evidence of wrongdoing, without the need to target a person or premise and without ever notifying anyone that they have been spied on.
It would be hard to imagine a more uncomfortable situation for political movements than to know that every communication they made was being intercepted and stored by the government they may be challenging or competing with. It would potentially make a Watergate lawful.
The lack of Parliamentary and media opposition is truly alarming, with the opposition Labour and SNP MPs almost exclusively abstaining in the final vote on this legislation.
Privacy from State Intrusion and Democracy are pillars of a free society which risk being systematically undermined in the name of law enforcement and national security.
The Liberal Party believes these are principles which should take precedence and the party strives to promote these principles in all its actions.