The Snoopers' Charter re-introduced the same powers that have just been declared illegal - and added new, even more intrusive, ones. But creating a new law for 2017 cannot let the Government circumvent the human rights law that protects us. So today Liberty has launched The People vs the Snoopers' Charter - a legal challenge against this authoritarian surveillance regime, backed by the ordinary people subjected to its gaze.
For some time now, bank clerks, landlords and employers have been tasked with checking people have a right to be in the country. The potential for discrimination is crystal clear - anyone with a foreign-sounding name or accent, or anyone who doesn't have a white face, is likely to be targeted. Schools were one of the only borderless places left. But there is a ray of hope for our children, and our society.
People detained administratively and indefinitely occupy a dark corner of this nation. Shining a light on their desperate plight is more important than ever. The time has come for our Prime Minister to be held accountable for presiding over countless human rights abuses in detention centres while she was Home Secretary - and to put an end to the cruelly indefinite detention regime that we have in this country. Unlike the rest of Europe, our Government does not put a time limit on immigration detention. Alternatives to detention have proved successful in countries like Sweden and Belgium, but the UK continues to routinely and indefinitely strip people of their liberty for administrative convenience.
The Investigatory Powers Bill proliferates spying for the sake of spying. It legalises the speculative mass surveillance powers being challenged in court by Liberty - and ignores suggestions there could be a better, more effective way. The Government sees the positive steps we all take to protect our privacy as a threat to be overcome at all costs, while failing to target resources at the real dangers.
With five billion of us now carrying mobile phones, we all have the necessary hardware. In the words of Thomas Paine at the start of the last great era shift; "We have it in our power to begin the world over again". All we need in this era shift is software and the will to make it happen. It's time for each of us to claim our Digital Liberation.
For years Liberty has argued that Schedule 7 - a breathtakingly broad and intrusive power to stop, detain, question and seize without suspicion that can be used against anyone travelling to, from or through the UK - is ripe for overuse and abuse. And yesterday, in a landmark victory for our free press, the Court of Appeal agreed with Liberty's intervention.
While we and our elected representatives enjoy turkey with all the trimmings, the Downton Abbey finale, presents and crackers and family feuds and everything else that comes when you are lucky enough to be safe and free at Christmas, thousands of people across our country will spend next week in detention with no hope of release.
I am not sure that you can help with my wish or even that I believe that you read these letters any more. Perhaps these days your correspondence goes straight to a limb of the State or to a global retail corporate who then converts a child's desire for this or that piece of merchandise into a miraculous suggestion in a hapless parent's e-basket. But hope springs eternal and so I ask whoever is reading to tweak the consciences of the powerful so as to empower the vulnerable. In 2015, let's save our Human Rights Act.
Liberty has long campaigned for a fundamental reform of the laws governing surveillance in the UK. We awaited this Bill with bated breath, knowing it represents a once-in-a-generation chance for parliamentarians to lay spying powers and crucial human rights safeguards down in law. Unfortunately, as it stands, the draft Bill isn't just a wasted opportunity - it's an astonishing assault on the internet security of everybody in our country.
On Saturday I'll join thousands of others - including my Liberty colleagues and many of our members - to take to the streets of London in solidarity with refugees. We will march to show the powerful that we see through the barrage of poisonous, dehumanising rhetoric with which we've been bombarded in recent years. These refugees are not a "swarm", as the Prime Minister labelled them, and they're not "marauding" as they were branded by the Foreign Secretary. They are not, as they have been variously described in the media, an "organised mob", an "unstoppable flood" or "the biggest threat to Europe since the war". They are desperate human beings fleeing war, genocide, tyranny and exploitation in the hope of finding a better life for their families.
Now the dust has settled on a general election that confounded pollsters and politicians alike, it's time to get to work. Wednesday saw the first Conservative-only Queen's Speech in almost two decades - and it's already clear that our new Government will be providing plenty to keep those concerned with civil liberties busy during the next legislative year... When Liberty was established in the 1930s, founding member E.M. Forster described our work as "the fight that is never done". He was right. In 2015 the fight to defend our rights and freedoms will be a tough one, but with the support of our members it's one we can win.
David Cameron, Chris Grayling and apparently now Michael Gove feel we'd be better off if we axed an act that's held the powerful to account over and over again, and instead allowed those with a vested interest in keeping their power unchecked to limit when and to whom human rights apply. Funny that... If you've been paying attention to party spin recently, you'll have seen our HRA suddenly rechristened "Labour's" Human Rights Act. So it's worth clearing up at the start that it was passed in 1998 with overwhelming cross-party support and Tory leadership endorsement. It was a long-held ambition of the Society of Conservative Lawyers.