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Tuesday, 25th August 2015

UK: A Democratic Licence to Operate: Report of the Independent Surveillance Review

Source: Royal United Service Institute (UK)

From Executive Summary:

The British public are entitled to some answers following the disclosures made by Edward Snowden in 2013. He alleged, among other things, that the UK and US governments were conducting mass surveillance programmes. The Independent Surveillance Review (ISR) was undertaken at the request of the then deputy prime minister partly in response to this very serious allegation.

The ISR Panel’s terms of reference were to look at the legality of UK surveillance programmes, the effectiveness of the regimes that govern them, and to suggest reforms we felt might be necessary that would both protect individual privacy as well as the necessary capabilities of the police and security and intelligence agencies (SIAs).

This Review has tried to interpret its terms of reference from the perspective of the British citizen so that it can add the greatest value to other reports that have examined similar issues from Parliamentary and legal perspectives. The ISR Panel think there are inadequacies in present arrangements and offer three groups of recommendations to try to address them. The Panel are not concerned with ‘surveillance’ in all its manifestations – which cover many standard aspects of policing and intelligence work – but primarily with the interception and use of private communications and related data.

+ Direct link to Report (PDF; 2.1 MB)


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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.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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