The UK’s “emergency” DRIP surveillance law is now a done deal


The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill, which was fast-tracked by the U.K. government as emergency legislation, is now law. The House of Lords passed the bill on Thursday without a vote after MPs gave their approval on Tuesday. It received royal assent hours later, making it the DRIP Act. The bill was only revealed to the public one week ago.

The purpose of DRIP, which actually expands the British authorities’ surveillance powers, is ostensibly to make up for an April ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which struck down the EU’s Data Retention Directive for having insufficient privacy safeguards.

Much of the U.K. authorities’ domestic surveillance powers came from regulations based wholly on that directive, so the CJEU ruling made those regulations invalid too. This removed the legal backing for the authorities being able to demand that ISPs and telcos store customer…

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