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Tuesday, 15th July 2014

UK: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill

Source: Parliament (UK)

From Library Research Paper:

The Government argues that emergency legislation is needed to ensure that UK law enforcement and intelligence agencies can maintain their ability to access the telecommunications data they need to investigate criminal activity and protect the public. There is cross-party agreement on the need for the Bill.

In April 2014, the European Court of Justice declared invalid a Directive enabling communication service providers to retain communications data for law enforcement purposes for periods of between six months and two years. This Directive has been transposed into UK law by way of secondary legislation. The Bill provides powers to replace those 2009 Regulations.

The ability to access content (rather than metadata) requires a warrant signed by a Secretary of State. The Bill amends the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) to put beyond doubt that requests for interception and communications data to overseas companies that are providing communications services within the UK are subject to the legislation.

At the same time the Prime Minister announced other measures, including a review of RIPA with a view to reforming and updating it, the establishment of a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, annual “transparency reports” on the use of surveillance powers and a restriction on the number of public bodies able to request communications data.

+ Direct link to Bill (PDF; 104 KB)

+ Link to Library Research Paper (PDF; 398 KB)


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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