Big Brother Watch Director Daniel Hamilton has today outlined the case for the ban to be lifted in an article for the Total Politics magazine's 'The Idea' feature:
"As long as the ban on the admissibility of intercept evidence remains in place, so do the many strange anomalies connected to it. While British courts cannot hear domestic intercept evidence, they frequently secure convictions based on overseas intercepts. Similarly, British intercepts can be used in prosecutions taking place overseas. While a conversation recorded on a hidden bug is admissible in court, a recorded phone call or intercepted email is not.
"To date, the government has opted to set aside fundamental privacy concerns in order to pursue the IMP. Such a programme, the British public has been told, will “make us safer”.
"Given that the majority of terrorist offences are committed by small groups of individuals, often operating outside the confines of mainstream society, it’s difficult to see how the IMP could possibly be successful in achieving that objective. Pinpointing terrorist activity among a database of billions of unique communications is akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. All the IMP achieves is the creation of the most invasive and intrusive database in history."
You can view the extended piece here.