The UK government has agreed to an independent review of so called bulk collection — aka mass surveillance — powers in proposed new surveillance legislation, one of the most controversial elements of the Investigatory Powers bill which is currently before parliament.
A further provision relating to state hacking capabilities set out in a Code of Practice associated with the draft bill notes that communications service providers may be required to maintain a technical capability to enable their users data to be intercepted — including having user data harvested in bulk — a scenario that human rights group Privacy International described to TechCrunch as the worst form of backdoor .
Burnham said substantial changes were needed before the party would consider supporting the bill.
Liberty for example, which is challenging the legality of bulk collection/mass interception in the European Court of Human Rights, criticized the earlier report for offering only six Agency case studies as justification for bulk collection — arguing that this vague and limited information was not substantial enough to assess security outcomes had other more targeted surveillance methods been used.
Since his prior report, multiple parliamentary committees have scrutinized the draft bill and been critical of its overly broad powers, a lack of clarity and not enough privacy safeguards.
Update: Burnham s spokesman has now confirmed the review will not include ISCs but only focus on capabilities badged as bulk in the bill.