‘Unsung heroes’ will use powers to target cyber criminals – MP

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AN MP who helped craft a bill handing spy agencies powers to monitor people’s internet use has praised the ‘unsung heroes’ who will use the law.

Suella Fernandes, Fareham MP, was on the two committees that analysed the Investigatory Powers Bill.

The bill passed its third reading on Tuesday night in the House of Commons by 444 votes to 69 against.

Speaking in parliament, Ms Fernandes said: ‘The terrorists, the paedophiles and the serious fraudsters all scheme in cyberspace these days.

‘Technology that empowers us also, sadly, empowers them. Yes, we want world-class encryption and privacy, but we also want world-class security.

‘We should trust the skill and restraint of those unsung heroes – the analysts, the cryptographers, the mathematicians and the codebreakers – who have used their genius to safeguard our security and who have maintained confidence and discretion in relation to the secrets they have seen.’

When it comes into force the law will create a post of Investigatory Powers Commissioner to oversee how such powers are used.

Security minister John Hayes praised Ms Fernandes’ work on the bill.

He said: ‘I congratulate my honourable friend the member for Fareham on the role she played both on the Joint Committee and the Bill Committee.

‘The threat she described so vividly is, as she said, worldwide and of a kind that would allow us to do nothing other than take the necessary steps to counter it in the defence of our freedoms.’