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

There is a case for frequent review, but what form that would take is a matter for us to discuss during the debate on the next group of amendments. I take the point that, in many senses, most of the bulk powers are currently available and being used. As I said yesterday, however, that does not mean that we should not scrutinise them now through the passage of the Bill. This is the first time that Parliament has had the chance to examine and scrutinise the provisions, because they simply were not avowed. The change of position on the avowal of the powers over the past three or four years and the fact that they are in statute are quite extraordinary. It would be wrong to say that as they existed and were used under more general provisions in the past, we should not ask for the operational case to be made now and have that properly scrutinised. This is the right way of doing things, even though one might say that it should have been done five, 10 or 15 years ago when things were different.