Appendix 3: Call for written evidence |
The Joint Committee on the draft Communications Data
Bill, chaired by Lord Blencathra, is conducting pre-legislative
scrutiny into the draft Bill and the policies it seeks to implement.
The Joint Committee comprises 6 MPs and 6 Peers. It will take
oral and written evidence and make recommendations in a report
to both Houses. The Joint Committee invites interested organisations
and individuals to submit written evidence as part of the inquiry.
Below are specific questions about the details of
the draft Bill. The Joint Committee would appreciate written submissions
on any of these questions on which you have evidence to contribute.
It is not necessary to address every question. The Joint Committee
will also welcome other comments related to the draft Bill, even
if not directly addressing the questions below.
1. Has the Home Office made it clear what it
hopes to achieve through the draft Bill?
2. Has the Government made a convincing case
for the need for the new powers proposed in the draft Bill?
3. How do the proposals in the draft Bill fit
within the wider landscape on intrusion into individuals' privacy?
4. What lessons can be learnt from the approach
of other countries to the collection of communications data?
5. Are there any alternative proposals with regard
to the technique and cost of obtaining communications data that
the Government could consider?
6. The draft Bill sits alongside the Data Retention
Regulations. How will these two pieces of legislation interrelate?
Would it be preferable to have one overarching piece of legislation
that governs the retention of communications data?
7. If it is concluded that the provisions of
the draft Bill are essential, are there any other measures that
could be scrapped as a quid pro quo to rebalance civil liberties?
8. Will the proposals in the draft Bill pose
a risk that communications service providers see the UK as a less
attractive base. What might be the effect on business?
9. Is the estimated cost of £1.8bn over
10 years realistic?
10. The Home Office suggests the benefits that
could be delivered by the enactment of the draft Bill could be
worth between £5-6bn.
Is this figure realistic?
11. Are the definitions of communications data
and communications service provider appropriate? Do they sensibly
define the scope of the powers in the draft Bill?
12. Which public authorities should be able to
access communications data under the draft Bill? Should it be
possible for the Secretary of State to vary this list by order?
13. How robust are the plans to place requirements
on communications service providers based overseas? How realistic
is it that overseas providers could be pursued for breach of duty?
14. Are the circumstances under which communications
data can be accessed appropriate and proportional? What kind of
crimes should communications data be used to detect?
15. Is the proposed 12 month period for the retention
of data too long or too short?
16. Applications for accessing communications
data will be subject to a series of safeguards including approval
by a designated senior officer within the public authority making
the request. How should "designated senior officer"
be defined? Is this system satisfactory? Are there concerns about
compliance with Article 8 ECHR?
17. Would a warrant system be more appropriate?
If you favour a warrant system should this apply to all public
authorities including law enforcement agencies? Should a warrant
be necessary in all circumstances? And what would the resource
18. Is the role of the Interception of Communications
Commissioner and the Information Commissioner sensible?
19. Are the arrangements for parliamentary oversight
of the powers within the draft Bill satisfactory?
20. Are the penalties appropriate for those communications
service providers who fail to comply with the requirements of
the draft Bill?
21. Are the penalties appropriate for those public
authorities that inappropriately request access to communications
data? Should failure to adhere to the Code of Practice which is
provided for in the draft Bill amount to an offence?
22. Does the technology exist to enable communications
service providers to capture communications data reliably, store
it safely and separate it from communications content?
23. How safely can communications data be stored?
24. Are the proposals for the filtering arrangements
clear, appropriate and technically feasible?
25. How easy will it be for individuals or organisations
to circumvent the measures in the draft Bill ?
26. Are there concerns about the consequences
You need not address all these questions.