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Clause 1

Part of Counter-Terrorism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 29th April 2008.

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Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing), Home Office 11:00 am, 29th April 2008

Then we are back to the hon. and learned Gentleman’s point. If there appears to be no significant reason why they are written in some sort of cipher or encryption, we are back on the territory of routine law. If they are written in Tolkienesque runes and the guy is a plumber there might be reasonable grounds to assume that he is seeking to hide information and therefore reasonable grounds to seize them in the normal fashion. This is just about asking  whether further exploration of the document, be it encoded, in a different language or in whatever form, will reveal whether it is legal for it to be seized in the normal fashion on the basis of reasonable suspicion. I think that that is eminently reasonable in that regard. I was not knocking plumbers or Tolkien when I used that example.