In a statement during the first session of the new year, the House of Commons discussed counter-terrorism. Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness, called for internet companies to ensure there is no safe space online for terrorists.
Matt currently sits on the Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, which is scrutinising proposed surveillance legislation. The Committee is expected to report by 11th February 2016.
In the Chamber Matt said “As well as propaganda online, much planning for modern terrorism takes place on the internet. The Home Secretary mentioned the draft Investigatory Powers Bill. Will she reassure the House that she is determined to come to a workable arrangement with the major internet companies to make sure that there is no safe space online to plot terror?”
The Home Secretary agreed with Matt, saying that the Government will “…continue [its] discussions with the internet companies on a variety of aspects, not least the operation of the forthcoming Investigatory Powers Bill and elements within it.” She added, “It is important that we work with the internet service providers, which have a very key role to play in this area in relation to propaganda that can appear on their systems and the response that they give to warrantry requests from the authorities.”
Matt said “I am pleased the Home Secretary has committed to working with internet service providers, to help prevent terrorism and plotters online. Internet providers are key to helping protect our national security, and in the modern era where so much of our communication takes place online, it is essential that they work with government to protect innocent people’s privacy and to bring down terrorist propaganda and stop any attacks being planned online. I will continue to work with colleagues on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill committee to ensure that this legislation works properly to protect Britain from terrorism, and to balance security with individual privacy.”
- The full statement can be read here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160105/debtext/160105-0002.htm#16010519000120
- More information about the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill Committee: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/joint-select/draft-investigatory-powers-bill/news-parliament-2015/committee-appointed/
- More information about the Draft Bill: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-investigatory-powers-bill