This is the same-day reply I received to my short email of 11 July:
I am very concerned by news of a data retention and investigation powers bill being rushed through parliament. Labour appears to be offering no opposition. Please, consider finding a way to slow this process down.
Thank you for e-mailing me about the Investigation Powers Bill. I thought it might be useful to give you some further information about my position and the position of the Parliamentary Labour Party on this issue. As a result of a recent judgement by the European Court of Justice, the police and intelligence agencies are in danger of losing vital information which is used in 95% of serious and organised crime investigations as well as counter terrorism investigations and online child abuse.
Serious criminal investigations and counter terrorism intelligence operations must not be jeopardised. That is why we are supporting this emergency legislation which we accept is designed solely to protect existing capabilities, however, given the limited parliamentary time to discuss emergency legislation we have ensured that the Government agree to make this legislation temporary – it will expire in 2016. This will require the Government and Parliament to consult on and consider longer term proposals next year.
We have also secured agreement to our proposal for a major independent review of the legal framework governing data access and interception (the RIPA review we called for earlier this year) in the light of the huge changes in technology. As we have previously argued we need a wider public debate about the right balance between security and privacy online, a review of powers and a stronger oversight. This review will enable longer term questions and concerns to be properly dealt with and debated in time for new legislation. We have also called for and secured further safeguards to restrict the ways in which communications data and intercept can be used to prevent misuse.
We have raised serious concerns with the Government about this rushed process and we will scrutinise the detail in Parliament next week. But we will support the temporary legislation as it would be far too damaging to the fight against serious crime, online child abuse and terrorism to suddenly lose the capabilities now. Our safeguards have secured a better process for longer term reform to make sure we have the right capabilities and right safeguards in place
If I can be of further assistance in this or any other matter in the future please do not hesitate to contact me again.
GLENDA JACKSON MP