Accurate Reporting on the UK Parliament

When you read: British lawmakers pass new digital surveillance law by Elizabeth Piper and William Schomberg, do you think:

  1. The UK has a new surveillance law?
  2. Debate on a proposed surveillance law has ended in the House of Commons?
  3. A proposed surveillance law is about to be debated in the House of Lords?
  4. Princess Kate’s life will be streamed real-time 24×7 on BBC 4?

If you said #2 and/or #3, your right!

Answers #1 and #4 are false.

I’m completely innocent of any experience with procedure in the UK Parliament but discovering the Reuters headline was false, wasn’t all that hard.

If you don’t know UK parliamentary procedure, check before reporting:

For the Investigatory Powers Bill, you could start at: About Parliament to get an overview of the process and some rather imaginative terminology used to describe the process.

Quick tip: Look for Bills before Parliment if the bill has just been in the news. Easiest place to look for the latest information.

Scroll down and you will find the Investigatory Powers Bill is now in the House of Lords.

The Investigatory Powers Bill link takes you to a very well-organized page that summarizes the current bill status (not a law) along with the full text and links to other useful resources.

The page also offers RSS and email alerts of further action on this bill. You will be accurately informed despite repeated AP reports of its passage.

If you do report on the Investigatory Powers Bill include its status page. That will assist voters in knowing who is responsible for this travesty, should misfortune prevail and it become law.

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