So why did the government back off the proposal for extending surveillance powers under the RIP Act?
“As most of you will already have heard, the government has backed down from the RIP s22 Order that would have given access to traffic data to dozens of government departments. We thought you’d like to know that this U-turn was largely down to you. The FaxYourMP folk say that they relayed 1789 faxes from last monday, and estimate that around 1600 of those were related to the s22 RIP Order. That means that, on average, every MP received at least two messages expressing concern over the measure. We’ve received mail from constituents saying that their Member of Parliament called them directly to discuss the issue. We’ve had MPs mail us with advice. We’ve had TV companies and newspapers contact us after they’d been hassled by their readers and viewers. We’ve even had MPs writing letters to constituents explaining, mournfully, that there was nothing they could do – and then had their own voters explain to them how to attend Standing Committee debates, and who to get in contact with others to help fight this order. Ah, those apathetic votees. ”