DRIP drip… a legislative stitch up: My letter to Lucy Powell MP

Hi Lucy,

Tim Dobson - Community Manager

Tim Dobson - Community Manager

Thanks for your recent replies on Twitter. I really do appreciate your agility in responding – it does help to get an almost immediate link to you. Thanks also for keeping me updated about the situation in several committees.

I’m concerned about the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill that’s being rushed through Parliament on Monday.

As your colleague Tom Watson (MP West Bromwich East) has said, it’s a “stitch up”. I feel Tom has a great deal of integrity, and when he feels something isn’t being done right… well, it’s worth looking at twice.


I find it frustrating because I feel Her Majesty’s Opposition’s job is to ensure robust debate and due process, and I’m saddened to find the Labour leadership don’t seem to want that here.

You moved to the frontbenches to make a difference and have more of a say in things, so I’m hoping you’ll look at this bit in more detail.

The draft has been published here:

In particular, I’m interested in how clauses 4 and 5 are:

(a) not substantial amendments to RIPA
(b) things that require emergency legislation.

Expanding RIPA’s scope to include people outside the UK is a massive expansion, and equally I’m not sure why the definition of “communications” counts as small revision, in such a loaded context.

I work for Bytemark, an internet company based in Manchester and York that is based on due process being a key tenet of our society. It feels to us that the way in which this legislation is being enacted is further eroding the trust we have in those processes and we encourage you to do what you can to maintain that trust. This letter is posted on our blog.

Best regards,

Tim Dobson

Community Manager

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