A SNP MP has criticised the Investigatory Powers Bill for failing to provide safeguards for people’s civil liberties, privacy and data security.
Stewart McDonald, MP for Glasgow South, has written to constituents following a vote in the House of Commons when MPs approved the Bill by 444 votes to 69, despite SNP opposition.
The SNP said the UK Government had failed to deliver the necessary robust safeguards and independent oversight that these powers would require, and criticised the Government’s decision to reject a range of amendments that would assuage the concerns raised by the SNP, civil liberties groups and technology companies.
Amendments put forward by the SNP included the establishment of an Investigatory Powers commission, protections for whistle-blowers and those making unsolicited disclosures from criminal prosecutions and issues surrounding internet connection records and for bulk powers.
Stewart McDonald said:
“The SNP is clear that the security services and the police require adequate powers to fight terrorism and serious crime, but it is vital that any new powers are proportionate, focused, and in accordance with law.
“It is unfortunate that the UK Government has failed to address, or even take seriously, the genuine concerns that we have, and so the government has forced us to vote against the Bill – a decision that we did not taken lightly.
“By voting against the UK Government's flawed Investigatory Powers Bill the SNP is standing up for people’s civil liberties, privacy and data security.”