Extra-territorial application of Part 3

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 19 April 2016.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office) 2:00, 19 April 2016

We return to familiar territory here, in relation to the extraterritorial application of authorisations under part 3. When I made my observations last week, I outlined the concerns that a number of service providers and tech companies have; I do not intend to repeat them.

Amendment 150 would tighten the service provisions in relation to the extraterritorial application of part 3. Amendment 151 would introduce a restriction that had the effect of not requiring a relevant operator outside the UK

“to act contrary to any laws or restrictions under the law of the country or territory where it is established, for the provision of services,” or to take steps that

“could be achieved via a notice served pursuant to an international mutual assistance agreement or subject to an EU mutual assistance instrument.”

We reached this point last week in relation to provisions that were not dissimilar. The Minister made various points, both about service and about other provisions—particularly those relating to the way international mutual assistance agreements currently work. I will not press these amendments to a vote, for the same reasons as last week, but would indicate that the thrust and purpose of the amendments was to anticipate the agreements on extraterritorial application that it is hoped will be reached—particularly with the US—and that are being negotiated at the moment.

Let me make one or two of the wider points that came up in discussion last week and that, in fairness, I ought to deal with. When we debated equivalent provisions last week, the hon. Member for Louth and Horncastle pointed out that some of the concerned companies and service providers had not given oral evidence to the Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill. She will be pleased to know that they are all listening to our proceedings or reading the transcripts and paying keen attention. They were keen to point out that it was not a refusal of principle; they were given very short notice and were asked to come as a team on the same day and at the same time, which was not available to them. I am simply putting their points. They did submit strong written evidence. They later discovered that the Committee took some evidence by Skype, but that was not offered to them.