UK Lords kill attempt to sneak in new surveillance laws


Members of the U.K. House of Lords, who last week introduced amendments to an antiterror bill that would have essentially brought back defeated surveillance legislation, have withdrawn the amendments after a spirited debate in the House.

The amendments had been added to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill and would have reintroduced key planks of the Communications Data Bill, popularly known as the Snooper’s Charter.

This included a new data retention regime and very broadly-phrased clauses that would have allowed security services to force communications service providers such as Facebook to install equipment in their facilities, so U.K. intelligence and law enforcement could search through Britons’ communications metadata.

Lord King, one of the four peers who introduced the amendments, withdrew them after hours of debate on the basis that their contentiousness might sink the wider terror bill.

It was certainly a lively debate. The peers who submitted the amendments attacked the…

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