Labour has written to Theresa May, the home secretary, setting out seven areas of concern about the government’s new laws handing more surveillance powers to the police, security services and other public bodies.
“I hope that is not necessary and that we can together produce a bill that commands a high degree of confidence and trust.”
The bill would give authorities access to internet connection records showing the website domains that people have visited. It will also tighten controls on interception of content, with judges required to give approval to warrants signed by ministers.
Top of Labour’s list of demands is a request for an amendment stating there should be a presumption in favour of privacy.
Burnham also wants a higher threshold for authorities to be able to access the records, arguing it should only happen when serious crimes are suspected and that a smaller range of public bodies should be allowed to make use of the powers.
The shadow home secretary said there should be additional protections for sensitive professions such as lawyers, MPs and journalists communicating with clients, constituents or sources.
In a debate for the second reading of the bill last month, some Tories echoed Labour worries.
Ken Clarke, the Conservative former home secretary, and Dominic Grieve, the Tory former attorney general, suggested there could be improvements to the new laws that overhaul the state’s surveillance powers.
The government argues the bill is necessary to address a gap in the surveillance capabilities of law enforcement agencies because of technological advances.