The BBC are covering this as well http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28237111
I am very much against blanket surveillance, and the previous Data Retention regulations did do that to some extent. They only applied in some cases (and A&A had never been asked to retain data), and the enforcement was odd too (civil action to force compliance?). The drafting was really bad and left, in my opinion, a lot of loopholes.
There are some key issues here though :-
- Blanket surveillance of the population is not acceptable - it is a breach of human rights, and the EU courts agree with that. That is why they struck down the previous regulations. How can the UK go against that? AFAIK even this new emergency legislations has to be in line with EU Human Rights rules, and it won't be if it imposes blanket surveillance in the same way as a regulation which has already been considered and lost. Why is the UK government even trying to go against Human Rights anyway?
- Rushing through any law shrouded in secrecy is bad - what the hell is going on?
- I hesitate to put down the threat of terrorists, but statistically they are a tiny threat compared to even car drivers. The amount of surveillance and laws and vast amounts of money spent reacting to terrorism is not really sensible. They try to cause terror, and that is what they are doing - if we allow ourselves to give up basic human rights in this fight, we have lost.
Update: This is the bill: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill
P.S. AAISP have no black boxes. AAISP have not been asked to retain data under the 2009 regulations.
From ORG: "What exactly is the point of human rights judgements if even the Liberal Democrats are prepared to ignore them? The CJEU have outlined very clearly what needs to happen before governments compel data to be retained. They say you cannot do it on a blanket basis, and someone independent, such as a regulator or a judge, must supervise police access. These fundamental points are missing from the emergency laws."