Consumer Group Condemns "Dangerous" Snoopers' Charter

February 28, 2016

Consumer Group Condemns "Dangerous" Snoopers' Charter

SumOfUs responds to the Updated Investigatory Powers Bill

Responding to the newly published Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, Hanna Thomas, Campaign Manager for SumOfUs, a consumer watchdog with more than 1 million members in the UK said:

"Our private lives are under threat.

"The Home Secretary's Investigatory Powers Bill is a cynical power-grab that would erode the fundamental privacy protections that are guaranteed to every citizen in the UK.

"Not only would the proposed Snoopers' Charter open up our private data for government review, this dramatic increase in the State's surveillance powers could shatter standard encryption protections that keep our data safe and make private communications more vulnerable to hacks and leaks.

"Nearly every major tech and telecommunications company - from Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, Microsoft, to Vodafone - has already said that the proposed bill could have dangerous implications for customers, citizens, and the future of the global technology industry.

"SumOfUs represents more than 1 million UK consumers who don't want to be spied on by the government. We stand with experts and business leaders in urging the swift defeat of this bill."

Earlier today, Home Secretary Theresa May released the updated Investigatory Powers Bill, known as the Snoopers' Charter, new legislation that would dramatically increase the state's surveillance powers. The proposed bill could require telecommunication companies to stop encrypting private data, require internet service providers to keep detailed records on users, and open up user data to government in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

SumOfUs has a long record of working to protect internet freedom - mobilising tens of thousands of internet users in the US to submit public comments, sign petitions and make phone calls that protected net neutrality rules in the US. SumOfUs led the charge that stalled NHS England's sale of personal medical data to big businesses and pharmaceutical companies.