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Lord Lucas: My Lords, of course I shall withdraw the amendment, but I still argue the point that, according to the laws of physics, such surveillance never can be absolutely and exactly the "same". Imagine a microphone installed on a premises. The sensitivity of that microphone to a conversation will depend on a finely designed audio pick-up which will then be sent to a form of digital transmission which will, as I am sure the noble Lord knows, transmit back perfectly the information received. Error codes will be included so that any mistakes which occur in transmission can be traced and corrected. Thus, with a good quality, modern digital microphone, it is possible to achieve perfect transmission at a considerable distance from a premises.

However, when using a laser device, the well-designed and sensitive microphone is replaced by a three-millimetre sheet of plate glass manufactured by Pilkington to no high specification. It will contain within it all kinds of harmonics and vibrations. It must produce a lower level of reception because the level of hearing will be so much worse than that from a microphone placed inside a premises. Even though perfect transmission might be achieved from the glass back to the electronic reception, the fact of the sheet of glass standing in the way will inevitably degrade the transmission. If the requirement is that it should be the "same", then everything should be ruled out. There is no device in existence which operates outside that could not be bettered by a device placed inside a premises or a car. That is an absolute and 100 per cent unbreakable law of physics. It cannot be otherwise.

However, I understand the noble Lord's difficulties with the word "similar". It will allow into the definition of intrusive surveillance all kinds of activities which he would not wish to see included. However, I hold to my basic premise; namely, that the wording used by the Government keeps everything out. The Government have said that they do not want that either. I hope that those on both sides of the argument will give the matter further consideration before Third Reading. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 29 [Persons entitled to grant authorisations under ss. 27 and 28]:

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 40:


The noble Lord said: My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend I should like to move Amendment No. 40 and speak at the same time to Amendments Nos. 41, 42, 43 and 94. These amendments look substantial on the Marshalled List, but their purpose is simple. They seek to achieve four things. They will add the Food Standards Agency and the Intervention Board to the list of bodies whose surveillance activities can be regulated by an order made by the devolved administration. The new clause deals with the

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situation in Northern Ireland and will enable the devolved administration in Northern Ireland to make orders governing surveillance by bodies in the transferred, devolved field.

First, the amendments add the Food Standards Agency and the Intervention Board to the list of bodies. Secondly, they ensure that the same is true for new bodies which are added to the schedule by the Secretary of State. As long as those bodies are not within sole Westminster competence, it is right that the devolved administration should have the ability to regulate them. Thirdly, the amendments change the order-making authority from "First Minister and Deputy First Minister acting jointly" to "Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister". That refinement is made at the suggestion of the devolved administration. Lastly, the amendments split Clause 29 into two clauses, simply because the Northern Ireland material in Clause 29 has become substantial enough to merit a new clause. I beg to move.

Lord Cope of Berkeley: My Lords, some would not regard 12th July as a suitable day on which to make these changes in relation to Northern Ireland. However, I do not object to them.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Bach moved Amendments Nos. 41 to 43:


    Page 33, line 18, at end insert--


("(5A) Without prejudice to section (Orders under s. 29 for Northern Ireland), the power to make an order under this section shall be exercisable by the Secretary of State.").


    Page 33, line 25, leave out subsections (7) to (13).


    After Clause 29, insert the following new clause--

ORDERS UNDER S. 29 FOR NORTHERN IRELAND

(" .--(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the power to make an order under section 29 for the purposes of the grant of authorisations for conduct in Northern Ireland shall be exercisable by the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland (concurrently with being exercisable by the Secretary of State).
(2) The power of the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister to make an order under section 29 by virtue of subsection (1) or (3) of that section shall not be exercisable in relation to any public authority other than--
(a) the Food Standards Agency;
(b) the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce;
(c) an authority added to Schedule 1 by an order made by that Office;
(d) an authority added to that Schedule by an order made by the Secretary of State which it would (apart from that order) have been within the powers of that Office to add to that Schedule for the purposes mentioned in subsection (1) of this section.
(3) The power of the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister to make an order under section 29--
(a) shall not include power to make any provision dealing with an excepted matter;
(b) shall not include power, except with the consent of the Secretary of State, to make any provision dealing with a reserved matter.
(4) The power of the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister to make an order under section 29 shall be exercisable by statutory rule for the purposes of the Statutory Rules (Northern Ireland) Order 1979.

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(5) A statutory rule containing an order under section 29 which makes provision by virtue of subsection (5) of that section for--
(a) adding any public authority to Part I or II of Schedule 1, or
(b) moving any public authority from Part II to Part I of that Schedule,
shall be subject to affirmative resolution (within the meaning of section 41(4) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954).
(6) A statutory rule containing an order under section 29 (other than one to which subsection (5) of this section applies) shall be subject to negative resolution (within the meaning of section 41(6) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954).
(7) An order under section 29 made by the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister may--
(a) make different provision for different cases;
(b) contain such incidental, supplemental, consequential and transitional provision as that Office thinks fit.
(8) The reference in subsection (2) to an addition to Schedule 1 being within the powers of the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister includes a reference to its being within the powers exercisable by that Office with the consent for the purposes of subsection (3)(b) of the Secretary of State.
(9) In this section "excepted matter" and "reserved matter" have the same meanings as in the Northern Ireland Act 1998; and, in relation to those matters, section 98(2) of that Act (meaning of "deals with") applies for the purposes of this section as it applies for the purposes of that Act.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury moved Amendment No. 43A:


    Page 52, line 24, leave out ("likely to be of value for purposes connected with") and insert ("necessary and of substantial importance for").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 43A deals with the four conditions which must be satisfied if any person with the appropriate permission under the clause is to impose a disclosure requirement in respect of protected information. Therefore, this is very important. Clause 47, which prescribes how notices requiring disclosure are to be formulated, is central to the Bill. We on these Benches believe that the four conditions impose sensible requirements. One is that the person on whom the disclosure requirement is to be imposed is in possession of the protected information. The second condition is that the imposition of that requirement is proportionate. The third requirement is that it is not reasonably practicable to get the information otherwise.

The last condition, which is where the amendment comes in, is that the imposition of the disclosure requirement in respect of protected information is necessary on the grounds specified in subsection (3)--that it is in the interests of national security, that it is for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or that it is in the interests of the economic well-being of the UK--or is,


    "likely to be of value for purposes connected with the exercise or performance by any public authority of any statutory power or statutory duty".

That is such an open, vapid and weak requirement--it is also an alternative to the interests of national security, crime detection and the UK's economic well-being--that it blasts a considerable

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hole in the proper protection which citizens should have against a disclosure requirement, which is a very serious step, being placed upon them.

This amendment changes the wording of subsection (2)(b)(ii) so that it reads:


    "necessary"--

that reflects subsection (1)--


    "and of substantial importance for the exercise or performance of any public authority of any statutory power or statutory duty".

We believe that that sensible, minimal provision should be satisfied before these substantial powers are exercisable. I beg to move.


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