The Home Secretary has today (4th November) announced to the House of Commons Government proposals to bring together existing strands of investigatory powers in a new Investigatory Powers Act. The purpose of the Act is to put in place rules to allow the security services and police to track, intercept, interrupt and bring to justice those involved in terrorism, cyber attacks and child sexual exploitation.
Speaking in support of the proposals, Simon Hoare MP for North Dorset said:
“If the first duty of the Government is the protection of the realm, their second duty is to ensure that those protections are fit for purpose—my right hon. Friend the Secretary and the Minister for Security have passed that test with flying colours and are to be congratulated. The Home Secretary mentioned in passing the benefits that her proposals will bring when clamping down on paedophiles and child sexual exploitation, and as a father of three young children I welcome that, as do all my constituents. Will she flesh out a little further what benefits she sees for the services that are involved in clamping down on such pernicious activity? What benefits will her proposals actually deliver?”
To which the Home Secretary replied:
“My hon. Friend has raised an important issue. Let me give him just one example. Following a recent survey of more than 6,000 cases, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre determined that more than 860 paedophiles could not be identified precisely because it did not have the internet connection records power that we are introducing in the Bill. With that power, it would have been able to identify them.”
Commenting, Simon said: “Some people call this a ‘snooper’s charter’. It is anything but. It is ensuring that my constituents in North Dorset and indeed across the country are kept as safe as possible. We need to ensure that our Laws keep apace with meeting the challenges presented by modern technology and I am confident that the proposals that will come before Parliament will do just that.”