Call for Evidence: Review of Communications Data and Interception Powers

The Home Secretary announced to Parliament on 10 July that the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation had been asked, with all-party support, to lead a review before the General Election, in the light of the diverse and emerging threats we face, of

  • the capabilities and powers required by law enforcement and the security intelligence agencies, and
  • the regulatory framework within which those capabilities and powers should be exercised.

The terms of reference for the review are here, and the obligation to commission the review was given statutory force in the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014, which sped through Parliament last week.

Among the issues that will be considered are whether the UK needs new legislation along the lines of the proposed Communications Data Bill, and whether Part 1 of RIPA 2000 needs to be amended or replaced.  The review will also be looking at the statistical and transparency requirements that should apply, and at the effectiveness of current statutory oversight arrangements.  For comparative purposes it is hoped to refer to the position in other countries, in particular Germany and the USA.

The Independent Reviewer is currently assembling the help needed, and establishing working practices.

If you wish to submit evidence with a bearing on any of the issues, please do so by Friday 3 October 2014 to independent.reviewer@brickcourt.co.uk, limiting your submission where possible to a maximum of 5000 words and heading your email “Evidence for Review”.

The default position is that evidence received may be published or shared with others, attributed to its author and quoted from in my report.  If you wish to submit all or part of your evidence on a confidential basis, please so indicate in a cover email.