General Election 2015 Party Manifestos
- 1 Labour
- 2 Conservatives
- 3 Scottish Conservatives
- 4 Liberal Democrat
- 4.1 Open Government Data
- 4.2 Copyright and the creative industries
- 4.3 Control of personal data
- 4.4 Data protection and Government databases
- 4.5 Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press
- 4.6 Police and security service powers
- 4.7 Digital liberties
- 4.8 Human Rights Act and various pledges on liberties
- 4.9 Digital Bill of Rights
- 4.10 European Single Market and TTIP
- 4.11 Liberal Foreign Policy
- 4.12 Cyberwarfare
- 5 Scottish National Party
- 6 UKIP
- 7 Green Party of England and Wales
- 8 Scottish Green Party
- 9 Plaid Cymru
- 10 Democratic Unionist Party
- 11 Social Democratic and Labour Party
- 12 Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
- 13 Sinn Féin
- 14 Ulster Unionist Party
- 15 Pirate Party
We support the principles behind the negotiations on theTransatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Treaty (TTIP). We will hold the European Commission to account on issues of concern, including the impacton public services and the Investor to State Dispute Settlement Mechanism. And we will ensure the NHS is protected from the TTIP treaty.
Rights and equality
(page 67) Britain has a long tradition of liberty and the rule of law, and Labour has a proud record of extending these to our most vulnerable citizens, by promoting equality and opportunity for all.
Thanks to the Human Rights Act, some of our most vulnerable citizens, including disabled people and victims of crime, have been given a powerful means of redress. The Conservatives want to leave the European Convention of Human Rights, and abolish the Human Rights Act. A Labour Government will stand up for citizens’ individual rights, protecting the Human Rights Act and reforming, rather than walking away from, the European Court of Human Rights. And we will make sure that access to legal representation, a cornerstone of our democracy, is not determined by personal wealth, but remains available to those that need it.
Tackling the threat from extremism
(page 53-4) The threat from Islamist extremism is increasing. Hundreds of British citizens have joined Islamic State – a movement that has engaged in savage violence, and racial and religious hatred.
The British people have faced down terrorist threats before and will do so again, standing united together, not allowing ourselves to be divided. With Labour, the security services will have the powers they need to disrupt and tackle terrorism. The Government were wrong to weaken counter terror powers by scrapping Control Orders. With Labour, dangerous suspects will be subject to proper controls.
Every government department will be engaged in the work of preventing extremism and fighting terrorism. We will implement a much more rigorous strategy for dealing with people returning from the Syrian conflict. Alongside appropriate police action and prosecution, it will be mandatory for anyone returning to engage in a de-radicalisation programme designed to confront them with the consequences of their actions.
We will need to update our investigative laws to keep up with changing technology, strengthening both the powers available, and the safeguards that protect people’s privacy. This is why Labour argued for an independent review, currently being undertaken by David Anderson. We will strengthen the oversight of our intelligence agencies to make sure the public can continue to have confidence in the vital work that they do to keep us safe.
To defeat the threats of Islamist terrorism, we must also engage with the personal, cultural and wider factors that turn young people to extremism. The Prevent programme was set up under the last Labour Government to stop young people becoming radicalised. But this Government has cut the funding and narrowed its focus. Much of the work to engage Muslim communities has been lost.
We will overhaul the programme to involve communities in countering extremist propaganda, stopping young people being groomed, and also building resilient institutions for social integration. We applaud those faith communities who have pioneered an inter-faith dialogue for the common good. We will take a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime, such as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We will challenge prejudice before it grows, whether in schools, universities or on social media. And we will strengthen the law on disability, homophobic, and transphobic hate crime.
We will further develop digital government to enable better communication, more collaboration, and sharing of data between services. It will make services and transactions more efficient and simpler for people to use. To create a more connected society we will support making digital government more inclusive, transparent and accountable. We will continue to back the principle of ‘open data by default’, releasing public sector performance data wherever possible.
Britain needs to be prepared to counter the threat of cyber-attacks. We have already called on the Government to require every company working with the Ministry of Defence, regardless of its size or the scale of its work, to sign up to a cyber-security charter. This would reduce the risk of hackers using small suppliers to break into the systems of major defence companies or the department itself. We will consult on creating a statutory requirement for all private companies, to report serious cyber-attacks threatening our national infrastructure.
Control of Health data
We will give you full access to your own electronic health records, while retaining your right to opt-out of your records being shared electronically.
Intellectual property and website blocking
The creative industries have become our fastest-growing economic sector, contributing nearly £77 billion to the UK economy – driven in part by the tax incentives for films, theatre, video games, animation and orchestras we introduced. Our support for the film industry has resulted in great British films and encouraged Hollywood’s finest to flock to the UK. We will continue these reliefs, with a tax credit for children’s television next year, and expand them when possible. We will protect intellectual property by continuing to require internet service providers to block sites that carry large amounts of illegal content, including their proxies. And we will build on progress made under our voluntary anti-piracy projects to warn internet users when they are breaching copyright. We will work to ensure that search engines do not link to the worst-offending sites.
Freedom of the press and journalists' phone records
(page 42) Because the work of the free press is so important we will offer explicit protection for the role of journalists via the British Bill of Rights and we will ban the police from accessing journalists’ phone records to identify whistle-blowers and other sources without prior judicial approval.
(page 59) We will improve our response to cyber-crime with reforms to police training and an expansion in the number of volunteer ‘Cyber Specials’.
Human Rights Act
We will reform human rights law and our legal system (Page 60)
We have stopped prisoners from having the vote, and have deported suspected terrorists such as Abu Qatada, despite all the problems created by Labour’s human rights laws. The next Conservative Government will scrap the Human Rights Act, and introduce a British Bill of Rights. This will break the formal link between British courts and the European Court of Human Rights, and make our own Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter of human rights matters in the UK. We will continue the £375 million modernisation of our courts system, reducing delay and frustration for the public. And we will continue to review our legal aid systems, so they can continue to provide access to justice in an efficient way.
We will scrap the Human Rights Act (page 73 - in a section about the EU)
We will scrap Labour's Human Rights Act and introduce a British Bill of Rights which will restore common sense to the application of human rights in the UK.
The Bill will remain faithful to the basic principles of human rights, which we signed up to in the original European Convention on Human Rights It will protect basic rights, like the right to a fair trial, and the right to life, which are an essential part of a modern democratic society.
But it will reverse the mission creep that has meant human rights law being used for more and more purposes, and often with little regard for the rights of wider society.
Among other things the Bill will stop terrorists and other serious foreign criminals who pose a threat to our society from using spurious human rights arguments to prevent deportation.
Preventing terrorism, countering extremism
(Page 61 and 63)
Our commitment to you:
- Keeping you and your family safe is our overriding priority.
The threat of extremism and terrorism remains serious, but with our tough, intelligent and comprehensive approach, we will confront and ultimately defeat it.
- strengthen the ability of the police and intelligence agencies to disrupt terrorist plots, so the authorities have all the tools they need to prevent attacks
deal with online radicalisation and propaganda, so we can reduce the risk of young people being drawn into extremism and terrorism tackle all forms of extremism, including non-violent extremism, so our values and our way of life are properly promoted and defended
The first duty of government is to keep you safe. We will always do whatever is necessary to protect the British people. We have protected and increased the budgets for the security and intelligence agencies and counter-terrorism policing. But the scale of the threat to our country from a number of terrorist groups remains serious, and the rise of ISIL in Syria and Iraq has created new havens for terrorists from which attacks against Britain can be planned, financed and directed.
We will always do whatever is necessary to protect the British people
However, the nature of the threat we face is making it more difficult for the security services to identify terrorist plots – especially thanks to new technology. We must always ensure our outstanding intelligence and security agencies have the powers they need to keep us safe. At the same time, we continue to reject any suggestions of sweeping, authoritarian measures that would threaten our hard-won freedoms. In the last year alone, we have given the authorities greater powers to disrupt and control the movements of people who want to travel abroad to fight, including strengthening powers to confiscate the passports of those seeking to travel to commit terrorism.
The next Conservative Government will continue to take a tough, intelligent and comprehensive approach to preventing terrorism and confronting extremism. We will update our counter-terrorism laws wherever necessary to make sure they properly reflect the threats we face.
Hamza and Abu Qatada removed from this country once and for all
Dealing with these threats is not just about new powers. It is about how we combat extremism in all its forms. We need to tackle it at root, before it takes the form of violence and terror. At the heart of our approach lies an uncompromising defence of British values, and a very simple message: in Britain, you do not just enjoy the freedom to live how you choose; you have a responsibility to respect others too.
Our plan of action:
We will strengthen counter-terrorism powers
We have strengthened counter-terrorism laws, including making it easier to stop British nationals travelling abroad to fight, and control the return of those who do. We will keep up to date the ability of the police and security services to access communications data – the ‘who, where, when and how’ of a communication, but not its content. Our new communications data legislation will strengthen our ability to disrupt terrorist plots, criminal networks and organised child grooming gangs, even as technology develops. We will maintain the ability of the authorities to intercept the content of suspects’ communications, while continuing to strengthen oversight of the use of these powers.
We will confront all forms of extremism, including non-violent extremism
We have already reformed the Prevent strategy so that it focuses on non-violent as well as violent extremism. We will now go even further. We will outlaw groups that foment hate with the introduction of new Banning Orders for extremist organisations. These could be applied to dangerous organisations that fall short of the existing thresholds for proscription under terrorism legislation. To restrict the harmful activities of extremist individuals, we will create new Extremism Disruption Orders. These new powers might, for instance, prevent those who are seeking to radicalise young British people online from using the internet or communicating via social media. We will develop a strategy to tackle the infiltration of extremists into our schools and public services. We will strengthen Ofcom’s role so that tough measures can be taken against channels that broadcast extremist content.
Over 75,000 pieces of unlawful material have been taken down from the internet
We will enable employers to check whether an individual is an extremist and bar them from working with children. And we will take further measures to ensure colleges and universities do not give a platform to extremist speakers.
"we will stop children's exposure to harmful sexualised content online, by requiring age verification for access to all sites containing pornographic material and age-rating for all music videos." (page 35)
A lot of the Scottish Conservatives' manifesto is the same as the Conservative manifesto. Not everything from the Conservative manifesto is in the Scottish Conservative manifesto and visa-versa.
State guardian/named person
We will repeal the “Named Person” provisions in the Children and Young People Act The Named Person policy is the worst example of the SNP’s statist approach. Not only are there philosophical objections to the policy but there are practical concerns regarding cost, accountability and indiscriminate information sharing – we will repeal it.
Intellectual property and website blocking
(page 36) We will support our creative industries The creative industries have become our fastest-growing economic sector, contributing nearly £77 billion to the UK economy - driven in part by the tax incentives for films, theatre, video games, animation and orchestras we introduced. Our support for the film industry has resulted in great British films and encouraged Hollywood’s finest to flock to the UK. We will continue these reliefs, with a tax credit for children’s television next year, and expand them when possible. We will protect intellectual property by continuing to require internet service providers to block sites that carry large amounts of illegal content, including their proxies. And we will build on progress made under our voluntary anti-piracy projects to warn internet users when they are breaching copyright. We will work to ensure that search engines do not link to the worst-offending sites.
Human Rights Act
(page 52) We will reform human rights law We have stopped prisoners from having the vote, and have deported suspected terrorists such as Abu Qatada, despite all the problems created by Labour’s human rights laws. The next Conservative Government will scrap the Human Rights Act, and introduce a British Bill of Rights. This will break the formal link between British courts and the European Court of Human Rights, and make our own Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter of human rights matters in the UK. The Scottish Parliament will retain the final say on the role of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to the Scotland Act 1998.
We will scrap the Human Rights Act We will scrap Labour's Human Rights Act and introduce a British Bill of Rights, which will restore common sense to the application of human rights in the UK. The Bill will remain faithful to the basic principles of human rights, which we signed up to in the original European Convention on Human Rights. It will protect basic rights, like the right to a fair trial, and the right to life, which are an essential part of a modern democratic society. But it will reverse the mission creep that has meant human rights law being used for more and more purposes, and often with little regard for the rights of wider society. Among other things the Bill will stop terrorists and other serious foreign criminals who pose a threat to our society from using spurious human rights arguments to prevent deportation. The Scottish Parliament will retain the final say on the role of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to the Scotland Act 1998.
Internet surveillance and counter-extremism
We will strengthen counter-terrorism powers
We have strengthened counter-terrorism laws, including making it easier to stop British nationals travelling abroad to fight, and control the return of those who do. We will keep up to date the ability of the police and security services to access communications data – the ‘who, where, when and how’ of a communication, but not its content. Our new communications data legislation will strengthen our ability to disrupt terrorist plots, criminal networks and organised child grooming gangs, even as technology develops. We will maintain the ability of the authorities to intercept the content of suspects’ communications, whilst continuing to strengthen oversight of the use of these powers.
We will confront all forms of extremism, including non-violent extremism
We have already reformed the Prevent strategy so that it focuses on non-violent as well as violent extremism. We will now go even further. We will outlaw groups that foment hate with the introduction of new Banning Orders for extremist organisations. These could be applied to dangerous organisations that fall short of the existing thresholds for proscription under terrorism legislation. To restrict the harmful activities of extremist individuals, we will create new Extremism Disruption Orders. These new powers might, for instance, prevent those who are seeking to radicalise young British people online from using the internet or communicating via social media. We will develop a strategy to tackle the infiltration of extremists into our schools and public services. We will strengthen Ofcom’s role so that tough measures can be taken against channels that broadcast extremist content. We will enable employers to check whether an individual is an extremist and bar them from working with children. And we will take further measures to ensure colleges and universities do not give a platform to extremist speakers.
Open Government Data
- Continue to release government data sets that can facilitate economic growth in an open and accessible format, including on standards in public services.
Copyright and the creative industries
2.9 Pride in creativity Liberal Democrats understand that arts, creative industries and culture are crucial to Britain’s success and essential for personal fulfilment and quality of life. The UK’s creative sector has been one of the great success stories of the past five years, and a critical driver of our recovery. We are proud of the arts in Britain and will support them properly, working to deliver access for all, regardless of income, ethnicity, gender, age, belief, sexuality or disability. We believe the arts have an essential role in our education system and will work to encourage creativity in our schools and universities.
- Support growth in the creative industries, including video gaming, by continuing to support the Creative Industries Council, promoting creative skills, supporting modern and flexible patent, copyright and licensing rules, and addressing the barriers to finance faced by small creative businesses.
Control of personal data
- Continue and expand the midata project into new sectors, giving consumers the right to access data businesses hold on them in an open and reusable format.
Data protection and Government databases
(page 51) We will: ...
- Require the highest standards of data protection by public service providers, including requiring that where data is used for research purposes it must be anonymised wherever possible, and impose a moratorium on the creation of new government databases without Parliamentary authority.
Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press
8.2 Freedom of speech and the free press (page 110)
As the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris showed, freedom of expression cannot be taken for granted. In an open society there can be no right ‘not to be offended’, which is why Liberal Democrats in government have strengthened the law to make it harder for prosecutions to be brought for using 'insulting words', and have led the way in protecting journalists’ sources under the 2000 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). Yet censorship and self-censorship are still rife, and the threat of prosecution can have a chilling effect on the willingness of people to speak out against injustice and corruption. To change this and promote investigative journalism, we will:
- Introduce statutory public interest defences for exceptional cases where journalists may need to break the law (such as RIPA, the 2010 Bribery Act, and the 1998 Computer Misuse Act) to expose corruption or other criminal acts.
- Ensure judicial authorisation is required for the acquisition of communications data which might reveal journalists’ sources or other privileged communications, for any of the purposes allowed under RIPA; and allow journalists the opportunity to address the court before authorisation is granted, where this would not jeopardise the investigation.
- Undertake a post-legislative review of the 2013 Defamation Act, which Liberal Democrats drove through Parliament, to ensure the new provisions are reducing the chill of libel threats.
- Introduce, after consultation on the detail, the changes to the 1998 Data Protection Act recommended by Lord Justice Leveson to provide a fairer balance between personal privacy and the requirements of journalism, ensuring that the position of investigative journalists is safeguarded.
Police and security service powers
8.3 Policing and security service powers
Liberal Democrats believe security and liberty are two sides of the same coin: you cannot have one without the other. The police and intelligence agencies do vital work to protect the public and we are rightly proud of them. But we always have to be vigilant that the state does not overreach itself, as it has done at times through corruption, heavy-handedness or illiberal laws.
- Ensure proper oversight of the security services.
- Establish in legislation that the police and intelligence agencies should not obtain data on UK residents from foreign governments that it would not be legal to obtain in the UK under UK law.
- Back a full judicial enquiry into complicity in torture if the current investigation by the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee investigation fails to get to truth.
- End indefinite detention for immigration purposes.
- Introduce restrictions on the indefinite use of police bail.
- Require judicial authorisation for the use of undercover police officers to infiltrate alleged criminal groups.
- Get to the full truth about corrupt practices in parts of the police and the press by ensuring that the Daniel Morgan Panel Inquiry is completed expeditiously and that Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry starts as soon as the criminal prosecutions in the hacking scandal are completed.
- Identify practical alternatives to the use of closed material procedures within the justice system, including the provisions of the 2013 Justice and Security Act, with the aim of restoring the principle of open justice.
8.4 Securing liberty online
In the modern digital age, the power of the state and of corporate interests can threaten our privacy and liberty. We have achieved much in rolling back the over-mighty state – passing the first ever Protection of Freedoms Act to restore lost civil liberties, securing the ongoing root and branch review of RIPA and legislating for the creation of a Privacy and Civil Liberties Board – but we cannot be complacent. There will be a complete overhaul of surveillance powers in 2016. We need to ensure this and other opportunities are seized as a chance to control excessive state power, and ensure that in an era when surveillance is easier than ever before, we maintain the right to privacy and free speech. Privacy should always be the norm for personal data, meaning surveillance must always be justified and proportionate and any demand to read private encrypted communications must be targeted and proportionate. We will:
- Pass a Digital Bill of Rights, to define and enshrine the digital rights of the citizen.
- Safeguard the essential freedom of the internet and back net neutrality, the principle that internet service providers should enable access to lawful content and applications regardless of the source, and without favouring or blocking particular products or websites.
- Oppose the introduction of the so-called Snooper’s Charter. We blocked the draft Communications Data Bill and would do so again. Requiring companies to store a record of everyone’s internet activities for a year or to collect third-party communications data for non-business purposes is disproportionate and unacceptable, as is the blanket surveillance of our paper post.
- Set stricter limits on surveillance and consider carefully the outcomes of the reviews we initiated on surveillance legislation by the Royal United Services Institute and the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation David Anderson QC. We are opposed to the blanket collection of UK residents’ personal communications by the police or the intelligence agencies. Access to metadata, live content, or the stored content of personal communications must only take place without consent where there is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or to prevent threats to life.
Human Rights Act and various pledges on liberties
8.5 Securing our rights and freedoms in law (page 114)
800 years after Magna Carta, the need for written, legal guarantees of our rights and liberties has not gone away. We will:
- Protect the Human Rights Act and enshrine the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in UK law. We will take appropriate action to comply with decisions of UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights.
- Block any further attempts to limit the right to trial by jury.
- Pass a new Freedoms Act, to protect citizens from excessive state powers.
Our Freedoms Act will:
- Tighten the regulation of CCTV, with more powers for the Surveillance Camera Commissioner.
- Extend the rules governing storage of DNA and fingerprints by public authorities to include all biometric data – like facial images.
- Protect free speech by ensuring insulting words, jokes, and non-intentional acts, are not treated as criminal, and that social media communications are not treated more harshly than other media.
- Prevent heavy-handed policing of demonstrations by tightly regulating the use of ‘kettling’.
- Reform joint enterprise laws.
- Ban high-frequency Mosquito devices which discriminate against young people.
- Strengthen safeguards to prevent pre-emptive arrests and misuse of pre-charge bail conditions to restrict civil liberties and stifle peaceful protest.
- End the Ministerial veto on release of information under the Freedom of Information Act.
- Cut back on the petty over-regulation of everyday life, like removing licensing requirements for leafleting for community events, liberalising the restrictions on songs and readings at wedding ceremonies, and permitting swimming in open bodies of water.
Digital Bill of Rights
Our Digital Bill of Rights will:
- Enshrine the principle that everyone has the right to control their own personal data, and that everyone should be able to view, correct, and (where appropriate and proportionate) delete their personal data, wherever it is held.
- Forbid any public body from collecting, storing or processing personal data without statutory authority, and require any such legislation to be regularly reviewed.
- Give increased powers and resources for the Information Commissioner and introduce custodial sentences for egregious breaches of the Data Protection Act.
- Ensure privacy is protected to the same extent in telecoms and online as in the offline world. Public authorities should only invade an individual’s privacy where there is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or where it is otherwise necessary and proportionate to do so in the public interest, and with appropriate oversight by the courts.
- Ensure that privacy policies and terms and conditions of online services, including smartphone apps, must be clear, concise and easy for the user to understand.
- Uphold the right of individuals, businesses and public bodies to use strong encryption to protect their privacy and security online.
- Make it clear that online services have a duty to provide age-appropriate policies, guidance and support to the children and young people who use their services.
European Single Market and TTIP
- Work to deepen the EU single market in the energy sector, in the digital economy and for services. We will boost British exports by scrapping national barriers to British firms trading online and by concluding ambitious EU trade agreements with key markets like Japan and India. We will implement the recommendations made by Michael Moore MP in October 2014, including publishing an annual European Business White Paper and appointing an EU Business Minister to lead this competitiveness agenda.
- Support negotiations at the World Trade Organisation as well as an ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the USA, which could bring benefits of up to £10 billion a year to the British economy. We will only support an agreement that upholds EU standards of consumer, employee and environmental protection, and allows us to determine how NHS services are provided.
Liberal Foreign Policy
- Continue to support free media and a free and open Internet around the world, championing the free flow of information.
Recognise the expansion of warfare into the cybersphere, by investing in our security and intelligence services and acting to counter cyber attacks.
Scottish National Party
Protecting personal data (page 21)
We do not support Tory plans for the reintroduction of the so-called ‘snoopers’ charter’, which would see all online activity of every person in the UK stored for a year. Instead, we need a proportionate response to extremism. That is why we will support targeted, and properly overseen, measures to identify suspected extremists and, if necessary, examine their online activity and communications.
Human Rights Act
Given the central place of human rights in Scotland’s constitutional settlement, and their importance at the heart of our politics, we will oppose scrapping the Human Rights Act or withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights.
(page 19) We will also seek an explicit exemption for the NHS and Scottish Water, as part of a general public sector exemption, from the terms of the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
THE TRANSATLANTIC TRADE AND INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (TTIP)
TTIP is a proposed EU/USA free trade agreement that is being negotiated in secret by the EU Trade Commission and other EU bureaucrats.
There is growing concern that TTIP may compel us to put many of our public services up for sale to US companies, thereby privatising significant parts of our NHS. UKIP is committed to securing the exclusion of the NHS, by name, from TTIP.
The level of public concern around TTIP makes it a good example of what can potentially go wrong while we remain in the EU and allow EU Commissioners to negotiate every single trade agreement on behalf of twenty-eight member states, including the UK, en bloc.
Fears of what TTIP might contain precisely illustrate why UKIP believes we should leave the EU and negotiate our own free trade agreements again.
We find it astonishing that other political parties, while launching high-profile campaigns against TTIP, nevertheless remain committed to our EU membership. Their hypocrisy is shameless.
Car tracking road charging schemes
BIG BROTHER ‘PAY-AS-YOU-GO’ PLANS
UKIP opposes ‘pay-as-you-go’ road charging schemes and attempts to introduce them by stealth.
From October 2015, the EU will require all new cars to be fitted with the ‘eCall’ system. Ostensibly a road safety measure, this system tracks vehicles using GPS and reports back to a central database. This capability would enable introduction of a Europe-wide road pricing system, on a miles travelled basis, which the EU Transport Commissioner is keen to introduce. We will scrap mandatory fitments of eCall and allow owners who already have eCall installed to disable it on their vehicles.
Biometric data of criminals and suspects
(page 54) Ensure Britain’s police forces comply with the law and do not retain booking photographs, fingerprints, DNA, or biometric data of individuals who have not been convicted of a crime
(page 55) DNA testing and retention of DNA data results will be reinstated for all convicted foreign criminals. This, in our view, is a major preventative step towards protecting UK citizens and our front-line security forces. We will amend the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 to enable the police to continue to keep samples from foreign suspects who are arrested but not charged in Britain.
CRIME AND SENTENCING
The nature of crime has changed dramatically. The Internet, impossible to police completely, is growing as a medium to commission and commit crime. Up to one third of women report being the victim of domestic violence, yet in itself it is not an offence.
UKIP believes it is time for a review of what is and what is not a criminal offence and we will commit to such a review, together with a review of commensurate sentencing policy to address the changing nature of crime today. The emphasis of such a review is likely to be on up to date sentencing procedures and processes for internet/cyber crime, sexual crime relating to minors, fraud, aggression, intimidation, people trafficking and gang masters and drug & substance abuse.
Our overall approach to crime is one of firmness, coupled with deterrent and rehabilitative strategies and a focus on combatting crime that delivers clear social value outcomes. We are also clear that the interests of law-abiding citizens and victims must always take precedence over those of criminals.
INCREASING INTELLIGENCE CAPABILITY
Currently, British intelligence is fragmented between a number of agencies, including MI5, MI6, GCHQ and BBC Monitoring. All have different funding streams and report to different government departments. This generates a significant overlap in work and resources and risks exposing gaps in the system.
UKIP will create a new over-arching role of Director of National Intelligence (subject to confirmation hearing by the relevant Commons Select Committee), who will be charged with reviewing UK intelligence and security, in order to ensure threats are identified, monitored and dealt with by the swiftest, most appropriate and legal means available. He or she will be responsible for bringing all intelligence services together; developing cyber security measures; cutting down on waste and encouraging information and resource sharing.
Green Party of England and Wales
Information and Digital Rights
We live in the information age and we know that information is power. But how should information be controlled? What information should be available, and to whom?
The Green Party supports a world of open, freely flowing information. We don’t want disproportionate or unaccountable surveillance or censorship. We want a transparent state, but we want control over the data that our digital lives create. We need copyright laws that rewards creators but are consistent with digital technologies. Above all we want democratic political control of this technology. We would consider combining elements of the policies below into a comprehensive Digital Bill of Rights.
- Oppose any case for secret unaccountable mass surveillance of the type exposed by Edward Snowden. We do accept that government law enforcement agencies may occasionally need to intercept communications in specific circumstances. Such specific surveillance should be proportionate, necessary, effective and within the rule of law, with independent judicial approval and genuine parliamentary oversight.
- Replace the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which has failed
- to regulate the deployment of undercover police;
- to support the confidentiality of journalistic sources;
- to support legal confidentiality; and
- to enshrine an open and effective right of redress.
- Support and protect Internet freedom.
- Follow human rights judgements limiting surveillance and data retention in full.
- Support the EU’s proposals to strengthen data protection laws against opposition from large US data-driven companies.
- Limit the censoring or takedown of content or activity to exceptional circumstances, clearly set out within a comprehensive legal framework
- Make copyright shorter in length, fair and flexible, and prevent patents applying to software.
- Introduce a more satisfactory law on so-called malicious comments made on social media than the blanket and crude section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.
- Oppose the privatisation of data held by the government should be open to all, such as the Postcode Address File, or by companies providing public services, such as data on the progress of buses that can be used by Smartphone apps to predict waiting times.
- Oppose the sale of personal data, such as health or tax records, for commercial or other ends.
- Use government purchasing power to support open standards in information technology.
The Green Party opposes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
TTIP is globalisation in its worst form, designed to submit democratically elected governments to the will of private corporations. Companies will be able to take legal action against governments that they think threaten their profits. National policies in EU countries for health, environmental, consumer and social protection could be challenged by companies from anywhere in the world in private international tribunals, run by corporate lawyers.
- Attempts to bring the National Health Service and the railways back into public ownership could be financially penalised or blocked;
- Authorisations for genetically modified organisms may be accelerated at European level and risk assessment standards lowered; and
- Regulation of banks and the financial industry would be harder, if not impossible
Scottish Green Party
Equalities and Civil Liberties
We will respect the basic human rights of all citizens and will celebrate the UK's Human Rights Act. Prejudice such as that of race, colour, gender, sexuality, age, disability, religion, national or social origin has no place in our society.
The threat of terrorism should not undermine our civil liberties. We oppose any mass surveillance of the population and will roll back untargeted state powers to intercept emails and phone records. We will strengthen oversight of the security services and introduce a Digital Bill of Rights to protect net neutrality and online privacy.
We oppose any corporate power grabs, like the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TtiP), which will lock-in privatisation. If adopted, TTIP will also increase the power of corporations to influence our health, food and environmental protections and to sue governments over new laws.
Justice and the Courts
We support the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights, and will oppose any moves by a UK Government to withdraw from those.
Plaid Cymru will work across our communities, whatever their backgrounds, to promote a Welsh civic identity. Our Welsh civic identity is inclusive, offered to anybody who chooses to make Wales their home. This will be promoted through schools, by faith and community organisations, encouraging everybody in Wales to participate in our wider Welsh society, in contrast to the UK Government’s divisive and stigmatising proposals that blame particular groups.
Increasing reliance upon technology leaves countries open to attack by foreign powers without the need for conventional weapons. We will bolster cyber- security defence capabilities to increase security and prevent cyber-attacks.
Action on Human Rights
We support the Human Rights Act and will work with international organisations to ensure that LGBT rights are understood and implemented on a global scale.
We also continue to oppose the EU-US free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. We are concerned that it puts too much power into the hands of international corporations, threatens to weaken our democratic institutions and undermine hard-earned improvements in public services, intellectual property, food safety, health and environmental standards. We oppose any part of this deal that may lead to the privatisation of the NHS.
Democratic Unionist Party
Parliament remains responsible for anti-terrorism legislation. Locally, nationally and internationally terrorism continues to be a significant problem. In Northern Ireland, the dissident republican threat, espite the many successe of the police and intelligence services, still causes disruption and a real risk to our community. There is a growing threat from extremist groups many with international connections.These groups continue to evolve.
A review of the present terrorism legislation
The DUP believes that considering the multi-faceted evolving and insidious nature of the terrorist threat it would be appropriate to review whether present arrangements need to be updated or upgraded. This review should include:
- Implementation of the Intelligence and Security Committee recommendations for a new single act to govern communications monitoring by intelligence agencies.
- A UK wide definition of a victim which excludes perpetrators.
- Changes to the glorification of terrorism offences with an examination of the 20 year time limit.
- Consideration of whether representation on the Intelligence and Security Committee should include representation from the regions of the UK.
Social Democratic and Labour Party
The SDLP has been at the forefront in defending our health service from Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Specifically the SDLP has sounded the alarm and continues to campaign against the inclusion of investor state dispute settlements.
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
Alliance is committed to personal liberty, privacy and civil rights. We believe that these help to ensure that individuals are able to exercise their own choices and that the state acts fairly. As a party which respects the rule of law, we know how important it is to ensure civil liberties are protected. In order to do so, Alliance will:
• Continue to apply an approach to the most difficult issues in Northern Ireland which balances civil liberties and human rights.
Human Rights Act
• Oppose any proposed repeal of the Human Rights Act.
• Initiate a comprehensive review on protecting privacy and personal freedom from surveillance. This must include a reaction to the PRISM mass surveillance programme by re- writing our data protection regulations. The rules should ensure that people’s right to secure data is strengthened and that national governments have greater oversight of security agencies’ use of data-mining software.
• Oppose the expansion of governmental power to monitor phone and email records without suitable oversight. As part of this we would support a lessening of the provisions in the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act and oppose the introduction of the Communications Data Bill in its current form.
• Propose the establishment of a statutory Civil Liberties Forum to advise government on issues around civil liberties and human rights.
There is nothing in Sinn Féin's manifesto on issues relevant to ORG.
Ulster Unionist Party
- Support the exclusion of the NHS from the scope of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States of America.
- Expand internet safety measures to protect children in Northern Ireland;
(page 6) We must remove Intellectual Property laws that are hampering growth. It's time to stop the tide of over-reaching patents and trivial lawsuits that are tying up new ideas and killing off start-ups.
It's vital no-one is excluded from the digital revolution. We will promote the inclusion of accessibility features, such as subtitles and audio descriptions for the disabled. Our aim is to make content accessible for disabled people. We will introduce an obligation for publishers to provide a DRM-free copy of their product where necessary to allow the use of accessibility programs (for example, voice synthesiser software to "read out" an e-book to a visually impaired person).
A fair and balanced copyright regime that is suitable for the 21st century is an absolute necessity for the UK to remain competitive in a global economy that is built upon ideas and innovation. Copyright should give artists and innovators the chance to make money from their work; however, that needs to be balanced with the rights of society as a whole. We will work for copyright reform and reduce copyright terms to 10 years to balance everyone's needs.
Under current copyright law it is unlawful to circumvent effective technological measures that restrict access to copyrighted material, even if doing so is required for lawful use. This includes both civil liabilities and criminal offences. In the event that such a “technological measure” prevents permitted acts, the only current remedy is to apply to the Secretary of State for a permit.
The Pirate Party seeks to abolish these laws, making it legal both to circumvent “effective technological measures” and produce, distribute and possess tools to aid in doing so. This would not change existing copyright law, merely remove the extra layer of illegality.
It's vital that we protect the new arena of digital culture for future generations. We will support preserving digital culture and introduce IP exceptions to allow the archiving of digital culture. We would seek to remove restrictions from broadcasters on satirising footage of Parliamentary proceedings. Comedy can bring politics to a wider audience and we believe that MPs' and peers' actions should not be immune from humorous criticism.
- Work for copyright reform
- Reduce copyright to 10 years
- Remove VAT from eBooks
- No "restarting the clock" on copyright
- Abolish anti-circumvention restrictions
- Protect archiving of digital culture
- Allow the use of Commons footage for satire
Oppose the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
Human Rights Act
We oppose any attempt to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and believe the UK should remain a party to the European Convention on Human Rights.
We would immediately repeal: Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), sections 49 & 54, which can force people to hand over encryption keys, and prevent them from telling anyone about the request.
Citizens' rights to private communication is vital. We will forbid third parties from intercepting or monitoring communication traffic, and require specific warrants to be issued by a court before communications traffic is monitored. We will oppose the return of the Communications Data Bill (“Snoopers' Charter”) or similar legislation added to any other bill. We will ensure that the freedom to encrypt data and communications is not abridged or limited, and that access to encryption tools is not restricted.
The Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee must be truly independent and robust, it must act for UK citizens not protect vested interests.
- No warrantless blanket surveillance
- No return of the "Snoopers' Charter"
- No restrictions on encryption
- Support a thorough overhaul of all intercept legislation to respect privacy
- Push for proper oversight and that warrants aren't just rubber stamped Strengthen the independence of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee
Freedom of Speech
We would conduct a review of: Communications Act 2003, Section 127, which is out of date, and inappropriate for the Internet age. People should not be arrested for making jokes on Twitter.
(page 12) We will strengthen data protection laws; companies must inform data subjects of their rights and be clear about their data policies.
We will make it easier to apply to a court for compensation where data protection laws have been breached, and increase the penalties for any breaches of data protection laws. We will allow the courts to apply these penalties to both the individuals and companies responsible, proportional to the scale of the breach.
Web blocking and filtering
(page 12) Too often the out going government's digital policy has been directed by tabloid headlines, not experts in the field. We will stop the imposing by government of censorship tools such as so-called "web filtering" or site blocking as blanket tools. We will cut the copyright cops PIPCU. We will repeal the sections of the Digital Economy Act which conflict with digital rights.
- Repeal sections 3 to 18 of the Digital Economy Act 2010