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Investigatory Powers Bill - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 19th July 2016.

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Photo of Lord Paddick Lord Paddick Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 6:15 pm, 19th July 2016

That gave me sufficient time. I apologise to the Committee; it has been a long day already. My noble friend Lady Hamwee and I also have Amendments 160 and 169A in this group.

Equipment interference can involve hacking into telecommunication systems or a network by deploying software that could compromise the security or integrity of that system or network, making them vulnerable to attack by not only the forces of good but the forces of evil. It can also expose the communications of everyone using that system or network.

Equipment interference can also involve hacking into someone’s phone or computer so that any communication can be seen by the police or the security services, including messages that are end-to-end encrypted. As the noble Lord, Lord Harris of Haringey, mentioned, that is crucial, particularly as more and more communication is encrypted. Basically, anything that the person sees on the screen of their phone or computer and any information contained on the device, the police or the security services can see as well. This may, however, make the device vulnerable to hacking by others.

Amendments 159 and 160 would include in the Bill safeguards to protect systems and networks, reduce collateral intrusion and ensure that critical national infrastructure is safeguarded by requiring those applying for equipment interference warrants to make a detailed assessment of the risks involved. Amendment 169A is intended to require the judicial commissioner who is asked to approve the warrant to also consider an assessment of the risks, although I am not sure that the wording is entirely right for that amendment. I beg to move.