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Investigatory Powers Bill - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 19th July 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Shadow Spokesperson (Equalities and Women's Issues), Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 3:45 pm, 19th July 2016

My Lords, I shall use the opportunity that arises from Amendments 140 and 146A to ask the Minister to clarify whether it really is the case that Clause 2 does not automatically affect every power in the Bill. If this was the case, we would be sympathetic to these amendments, as the privacy objective should be considered before any of the powers are used. My understanding was that Clause 2 was a general provision, which affected everything. Indeed, the letter of the noble Earl, Lord Howe, of 14 July to my noble friend Lord Rosser says, “The new overarching privacy clause sets out the privacy obligations which constrain the use of the powers in the Bill”. Our understanding had been that it covered the whole Bill, so I was slightly bemused by Amendments 140 and 146A—not helped by a briefing received, again very late last night, from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which only ever sends out its briefings on the very eve of debate. That briefing says that Clause 2 does not cover it all, whereas my understanding was that it did. Perhaps this is the opportunity for one of the Ministers to make clear the situation.