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Investigatory Powers Bill - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 19th July 2016.

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Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 5:45 pm, 19th July 2016

The noble Lord makes what is, on the face of it, a fair point. We have language, as I have explained, that is out of date. But even where the language is not out of date in the kinds of instances that he refers to—for example, legislation refers to the “international mobile equipment identity” of devices—the rate at which telecommunications change means that that kind of language could become out of date very quickly. We try to read across the data descriptions that originated in the 2006 directive to the communications technologies of today, and do so in technology-neutral language. That is why we have departed from the approach that the noble Lord is advocating.

As the noble Lord will remember, DRIPA was emergency legislation. We simply replicated the existing language in that Bill. We now have an opportunity in the Bill before us to do rather better and try to future-proof the terms that the Bill contains.