Warrants that may be issued under this Chapter

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 12th April 2016.

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Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Justice and Home Affairs) 11:15 am, 12th April 2016

No, I will not. I want to continue making my point. Without the amendment, which we support, a GCHQ analyst would be able to search for and view non-content material of anyone in the United Kingdom without a warrant. I do not believe that that is right, necessary or proportionate.

Let us look at what the Intelligence and Security Committee said. If Government Members do not like Mr King’s evidence, let us set him to one side and look at the ISC. Government Members might find its approach more palatable or less easy to criticise. In the ISC’s response to the draft Bill, it highlighted the significant concern that the secondary data, including that derived from content, would not be protected. It said:

“To provide protection for any such material incidentally collected, there is a prohibition on searching for and examining any material that relates to a person known to be in the UK (therefore, even if it is collected, it cannot be examined unless additional authorisation is obtained). However, these safeguards only relate to the content of these communications. The RCD relating to the communications of people in the UK is unprotected if it is collected via Bulk Interception. In direct contrast, if the same material were collected and examined through other means (for example, a direct request to a CSP) then the draft Bill sets out how it must be authorised”.

The ISC expressed a concern that the amendment attempts to address. Because no examination warrant is required for secondary data, a variety of highly intrusive acts could be undertaken without additional authorisation by individual analysts. That is all that the amendment is seeking to address. In my respectful submission, it is appropriate, necessary and proportionate.