Bulk interception warrants

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:00 pm on 7th June 2016.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office) 2:00 pm, 7th June 2016

I am grateful to the Minister for clarifying the position, because that is an important additional measure in relation to bulk powers. We will, of course, support whatever amendments are necessary to achieve that end.

As I have said, the bulk powers are very wide. They will inevitably have an impact on people who are not suspected of doing anything wrong, and they will inevitably have an impact—or, at least, it is impossible to ensure that they will not—on legally privileged material, or material that involves journalistic material or journalistic sources, or, indeed, MPs’ correspondence. It would be good if a way could be found of excluding such material from the operation of bulk powers, but it is not possible to do so, and that is why there is concern about bulk powers. [Interruption.] I will give way to Mr Davis in a moment.

Bulk powers involve ordinary members of the public who have never done anything wrong, and they involve the potential to capture legally privileged material, journalistic material and MPs’ correspondence. I shall come on to the safeguards, but it is important to understand first why there is that concern about the bulk powers.