If the Snoopers Charter was not bad enough with its total disregard for privacy we now discover that it also enables the state to legally lie in a Court of Law.
The relevant part of the Investigatory Powers Act is Section 56.
- 56 (1) In British courtrooms and Inquiries it is now forbidden to make disclosures that would
(a) reveal that evidence was obtained by spying.
(b) suggest that spying has ever been going on, may have been going on, or may go on in the future.
- 56 (2) Details all of the actions that are defined as spying (“Interception-related content”)
- 56 (3) A list of people who people who are able to act as spies, which includes police chiefs, spy chiefs, the head of HMRC, the head of the defence staff, the heads of non-British agencies with whom the British government is sharing information, any person holding office under the crown, anyone working for the police, anyone working for HMRC, anyone working for a postal service, anyone working for a telecommunications provider, anyone working as a subcontractor for a postal service or telecommunications company.
- 56 (4) Retroactive clauses to prevent the prosecution of people who were doing this kind of spying unlawfully before the Snoopers’ Charter became law in November 2016.
As AAV points out :
Section 56 of the Snoopers’ Charter is really alarming stuff because it creates a legal obligation on prosecutors to lie in court about how their surveillance-related evidence was obtained, and it also prevents defence lawyers from presenting proof that evidence was obtained by spying, or even suggesting that the evidence might have been obtained by spying.
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