Implementation of warrants

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 21 April 2016.

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Photo of Albert Owen Albert Owen Labour, Ynys Môn 2:00, 21 April 2016

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Amendment 645, in clause 109, page 87, line 41, at end insert—

“(3A) Subsection (3) shall not be applicable where the person outside the United Kingdom has its principal office where it is established for the provision of services in a country or territory with which the United Kingdom has entered in to an international mutual assistance agreement or is subject to an EU mutual assistance instrument.”

This excludes the extraterritorial provision in cases where any mutual assistance arrangement exists between the UK and the provider’s jurisdiction while enabling the government to seek voluntary assistance from CSPs in non-MLA countries.

Amendment 679, in clause 110, page 88, line 9, at end insert—

“(1A) Where such a warrant is to be served upon a person outside the United Kingdom the warrant shall be served at that person’s principal office outside the United Kingdom, where it is established, for the provision of services.”

Amendment 694, in clause 110, page 88, line 10, at beginning insert—

“Where service of a warrant in the manner envisaged in subsection (1A) is considered unfeasible or inappropriate in the circumstances,”

Amendment 647, in clause 110, page 88, line 10, after “Kingdom”, insert—

“the warrant shall be served at that person’s principal office outside the United Kingdom where it is established, for the provision of services. Where it is considered unfeasible or inappropriate in the circumstances,”

The Home Secretary confirmed at second reading that a UK agency would only serve a notice on an overseas entity that is capable of providing assistance under the warrant. UK agencies today routinely use secure means of communication to transmit notices directly to the main office of overseas CSPs. This would make government’s commitment clear on the face of the Bill (as it is in the relevant code of practice) and address contradictory provisions that remain in the Bill.

Amendment 648, in clause 111, page 89, line 19, after “take”, insert—

“which for a relevant operator outside the United Kingdom shall include—

(a) any steps which would cause the operator 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

(b) where a warrant could be served pursuant to an international mutual assistance agreement or subject to an EU mutual assistance instrument.”

This amendment clarifies the reasonableness test for overseas CSPs.