Human Rights Committee Says IP Bill is Too Vaguely Worded

By Gary Cutlack on at

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has had its say on the proposed IP Bill that would have ISPs keep track of the Daily Mail pages we occasionally open in incognito mode, suggesting that the government's proposed rules are too wide and that the need for a judicial review before opening up someone's internet history could possibly be circumvented.

The actual paper [PDF] says: "...the power to make modifications to warrants for targeted interception, without judicial approval, is so wide as to give rise to real concern that the requirement of judicial authorisation can be circumvented, thereby undermining that important safeguard against arbitrariness," also warning that the "broadly drafted" current terms might make it too easy for authorities to put in bulk requests by being deliberately vague with their search queries.

They human rights people are also worried that proper grown-up journalists may be threatened by the Bill's ability to provide enough data to out sources, adding: "We recommend that the Bill should provide the same level of protection for journalists’ sources as currently exists in relation to search and seizure under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, including an on notice hearing before a Judicial Commissioner, unless that would prejudice the investigation," meaning no ISP could be forced to reveal where the video of Hulk Hogan came from. [PHRC [PDF] via The Inquirer]

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