Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill
Draft Investigatory Powers Bill

Report of Session 2015-16 - published 11 February 2016 - HL Paper 93 - HC 651



Conclusions and recommendations

1 Introduction

Our inquiry

The purpose of pre-legislative scrutiny

The timescale for this inquiry

The structure of this report

2 Legal and policy context of the draft Bill


The current legislative framework

The Draft Communications Data Bill

European law and the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014

Human Rights Act 1998

Recent Reviews of Investigatory Powers in the UK

Publication of the draft Bill

Concurrent parliamentary inquiries

What’s in the draft Bill?

3 Capabilities


Targeted Interception

The case for Targeted Interception

Communications Data

The background to Communications Data

The case for Communications Data

The intrusiveness of communications data and privacy risks

Definitions of communications data

Public bodies who may obtain communications data

Purposes for which communications data may be obtained

Internet Connection Records

The case for ICRs

The case against ICRs

The definition of ICRs

The feasibility of ICRs

The purposes for which ICRs can be used

Data Retention

Security of retained data and privacy risks

Retention period


Third party data

Definitions of telecommunications provider and telecommunications service

Retention notices

Request Filter


Equipment interference


The case for Equipment Interference

The case against Equipment Interference

Criticism of Equipment Interference

Admissibility of evidence

Bulk powers

The clarity of bulk powers

Legality of bulk powers

Effectiveness of bulk powers

Safeguards for bulk powers

Bulk interception

Bulk acquisition of communications data

Bulk equipment interference

Bulk personal datasets


Support for BPDs

Opposition to BPDs

Lack of information about BPDs

Excluded datasets

Safeguards required for BPDs

4 Authorisation regimes


Overarching issues

Judicial Authorisation

Judicial Review

Targeted Interception

Modification of warrants

Authorising interception in Scottish psychiatric hospitals

Targeted Equipment Interference

Differences in authorisation and modification for law enforcement and
intelligence agencies

Discrepancy between draft Bill and Code of Practice

Issues common to targeted interception and targeted equipment interference

Urgent Warrants

Thematic Warrants

Communications Data and Internet Connection Records

Authorisation for Targeted Communications Data and ICRs

Local Authority authorisation

Serious Fraud Office authorisation

Emergency authorisation procedures

Powers to modify Clause 54 and Schedule 4

Bulk powers warrants

Necessity and Proportionality test

Bulk personal datasets

Technical Capability notices and National Security notices

Process for issuing these notices

Data sharing and Extraterritoriality

Safeguards for data sharing overseas

Dangers and difficulties of asserting extraterritoriality

Privileged communications

Legal Professional Privilege

Journalistic Privilege

Parliamentary Privilege

5 Oversight

Current oversight regime

Commissioners or a Commission?

Judicial Commissioners

Creation of a single oversight body


Re-appointment and length of terms



Power to modify the functions of the Judicial Commissioners

Impact of authorisation and oversight functions being exercised by the same body

Error-reporting and notification

Powers and duties of the Judicial Commissioners

Constraint on Judicial Commissioners

Whistle blowers and the Judicial Commissioners

Legal advice and access

Technical advice and access

Other powers and duties

Issuing guidance

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal

Power of appeal

Review of procedures and processes

The oversight landscape

Privacy and Civil Liberties Board

6 Remaining issues

The inadmissibility of intercept material as evidence

Disclosure of intercept evidence to judges and prosecutors

Power to make consequential provision

Non-Technical Definitions

National Security

Economic well-being

Publication of codes of practice

Bulk data, automated analysis and the right to privacy

A review provision

Appendix 1: Members and interests

Appendix 2: Call for Evidence

Appendix 3: Delegated Powers Memorandum

Appendix 4: Human Rights Memorandum

Appendix 5: List of abbreviations

Formal Minutes


Published written evidence

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