Draft Investigatory Powers Bill

I recently wrote to my Member of Parliament regarding the bill of the title of this article.
His reply is a typical politicians response, which while probably factually right, does not
address the the question I posed in my final paragraph. My concerns and his response
are verbatim below.

Updated 23rd November with Luke Hall MP second response and my third attempt at getting him to answer a question himself.

To Luke Hall MP,

I have concerns about the bill referred to in the title of this message.

Whilst the law needs to keep up with the internet/digital age, I think that many of the proposed powers are excessive, maybe draconian. Aside from basic privacy concerns for law abiding citizens, I have a maJor concern on which I would like to know where you as my MP stand and, if it comes to a vote, how you will vote.

My biggest concern is that a politician, albeit a senior one, the Home Secretary can authorise snooping/spying, or whatever other name you choose to dress it up in. I think that only a Judge, independent of the political system should have this power, which is otherwise open to abuse.

I inderstand that the bill includes “Giving a panel of judges the power to block spying operations authorised by the home secretary”. This minor sop to privacy is too little too late; by the time the judges could block snooping, significant amounts of data may already have been collected. How will collected data be handled if judges later say it should not have been. What safeguards will there be?

I firmly oppose such a power being handed to any politician, it should be only in the hands of judges.

As a constituent I wish to know your position on this matter, in plain English please, not politicalese. Do you support the proposed powers being in the hands of politicians, yes or no? If yes, why?

A constituent,

Note: this is sent as an open communication that will be copied to social media.

P.s. I hope I a reply might be forthcoming this time as my previous communication elicited zero response. Not even acknowledgement.

Related documents

Policy paper Draft Investigatory Powers Bill

Will UK spy bill risk exposing people’s porn habits?
UK surveillance powers explained
Details of UK website visits ‘to be stored for year

Luke Hall MP’s response:


Thank you for contacting me about the Investigatory Powers Bill.

I do appreciate your concern on this vital area of national security, but let me assure you that there will be strict checks and balances in the upcoming Investigatory Powers Bill, which was published last week. The Home Secretary has been clear that there will be strong oversight and authorisation arrangements in place for all the powers contained in the Bill.

Similarly, I think it is important to highlight that there have been three separate reviews that looked at provisions in the Bill, and the Home Secretary has made clear that the Bill is a reflection of these reviews. A great deal of care has been taken to make sure there are world leading oversight arrangements within the Bill.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Luke Hall MP


My second try

To Luke Hall, MP,

Thank you for your reply to my concerns regarding the subject bill. Your response is reassuring and I assume factually correct, however it is not an answer to the question I asked, which was your view as the representative of the constituency I live in. I am adding the question again below, in the hope I might get a straight answer to it this time.

Do YOU support the proposed powers (in the investigatory powers bill) being in the hands of politicians (instead of judges), yes or no? If yes, why?

You can find the full text of my original communication and your reply here.



On 23 Nov 2015, at 15:19, HALL, Luke <luke.hall.mp@parliament.uk> wrote:


Thank you for your follow up email with regards the Investigatory Powers Bill.

I support the efforts the Government is taking to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. In a world where the threats we face are changing in nature, we need to adapt our laws so that we can ensure we are ready to meet any challenges we may face.

Thank you again for your email.

Yours sincerely,


Luke Hall MP
Member of Parliament for Thornbury, Yate and the surrounding villages

House of Commons
0207 219 4741


To Luke Hall MP

Thank you for your second reply.

I have no doubt that you support efforts of government regarding the safety and security of and in this country.

You have still not answered my primary question from my last two missives.

Do YOU support the proposed powers (in the investigatory powers bill) being in the hands of politicians (instead of judges), yes or no? If yes, why?


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