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Investigatory Powers Bill - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 19th July 2016.

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Photo of Lord Murphy of Torfaen Lord Murphy of Torfaen Labour 4:45 pm, 19th July 2016

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord King, touched on the issue of the Joint Committee. It may be useful for your Lordships to hear what it said about ICRs. The noble Lord, Lord King, was quite right in that regard. The Joint Committee said:

“While we recognise that ICRs could prove a desirable tool for law enforcement agencies, the Government must address the significant concerns outlined by our witnesses if their inclusion within the Bill is to command the necessary support”.

The Joint Committee also said:

“We recommend that the definition of Internet Connection Records should be made consistent throughout the Bill and that the Government should give consideration to defining terms such as ‘internet service’ and ‘internet communications service’. We recommend that more effort should be made to reflect not only the policy aims but also the practical realities of how the internet works on a technical level”.

The Joint Committee also recommended that,

“the Government should publish in a Code of Practice alongside the Bill advice on how data controllers should seek to minimise the privacy risks of subject access requests for ICRs under the Data Protection Act 1998”.

The Government accepted the recommendation on a code of practice—and, indeed, on the definitions. However, in general, the majority of members of the committee believed that ICRs are absolutely necessary to protect our citizens and give the security agencies and the law enforcement agencies the tools they need.