Amendments that could have created a-called 'Snoopers' Charter' have been withdrawn after debate in the House of Lords.
Four Lords put forward the amendments totaling almost 5,000 words ahead of the report stage of the Bill's progression through parliament, one of the last stages in its progression.
These amendments listed numerous changes designed to enhance the government’s data collection capabilities.
“[E]nsure that communications data is available to be obtained from
telecommunications operators by relevant public authorities,” stated one amendment.
This was met with derision by campaigners who said it was an abuse of the parliamentary procedure and posed serious privacy risks to the public.
During a debate in the House of Lords on Monday the Lords responsible for the amendments conceded defeat in the face of opposition, although still maintained such powers were necessary.
Lord King, of Bridgwater said: "I understand that the government and the opposition feel honour-bound to hold to their position, but we will lose an opportunity to put in place a temporary, stop-gap measure which could have reduced the threat to our nation from terrorism at present.
'We just have to pray that we do not pay too high a price for that."
Lord Blair of Boughton agreed with his fellow peer on this, and expressed his disappointment the amendments had met such hostility.
"I am acutely disappointed by the decisions of both front benches to refuse to accept this amendment or, better still, propose a better one, on a matter of such national interest," he added.
The Liberal Democrats took to Twitter to trumpet their role in helping stop the amendments being added to the Bill.
Despite the defeat the effort by the four Lords to bring such powers into law underlines the desire among government for these capabilities and no doubt this effort will continue after the General Election in May to bring such powers to the statue books.
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