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28 June 2017

Emergency new internet spying laws to monitor terrorists being drawn up after European court ruling

EMERGENCY new internet spying laws are being drawn up after a devastating EU court ruling, The Sun can reveal.

Home Office bosses fear British Court of Appeal judges currently examining the edict will strike down new MI5 and police powers to access terrorist plotters’ communications.

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New laws are being drafted after an EU court ruling – as officials believe they will strike down police powers
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Braced for a ruling next month, ministers then plan to rush a new bill through Parliament so that dangerous extremists can still be monitored.

The European Court of Justice verdict in December last year deemed the mass storage of bulk data as unjustified “within a democratic society”.

It also demanded stricter legal safeguards for the handling of communications data by law enforcement agencies.

The ruling came after a challenge to the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act by Labour deputy leader Tom Watson and Tory Brexit Secretary David Davis.

Mr Davis, who launched the case while a backbencher, now faces deep embarrassment over it.

Tory enemies predicted the appeal court ruling will spell an end to any hopes of him becoming Tory leader if he is seen as responsible for weakening the nation’s defences against terror.

David Davis brought the challenge to the European Court of Justice, but later withdrew his involvement

Civil liberties campaigner Mr Davis, 68, has been tipped as a frontrunner to take as PM over from weakened Theresa May.

But one minister told The Sun: “The ECJ ruling has caused us a huge headache and without doubt put British lives at risk.

“That’s a very bad look for someone like DD who wants to run the country.”


Confirming the emergency preparations last night, a Home Office spokesman said: “Given the importance of communications data to preventing and detecting crime, we will ensure plans are in place so that the police and other public authorities can continue to acquire such data in a way that is consistent with EU law and our obligation to protect the public.

“We will vigorously defend the fundamental powers in the Investigatory Powers Act, which Parliament approved last year, because they are vital to the police and intelligence agencies in arresting criminals, prosecuting paedophiles and preventing terrorist attacks.”

Mr Davis originally launched the case against Mrs May herself in 2015, while she was Home Secretary and the Cabinet minister in charge of surveillance powers.

He was also reported to have angered the PM by joking about it during a leaked account of a dinner the pair had in No10 with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in April.

Police and MI5 chiefs are battling a crisis of three Islamist terror attacks in as many months – on Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge.

Terrorist Khalid Masood used Whatsapp encrypted messaging system before attack
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