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Electronic Surveillance

Home Office written question – answered on 16th October 2018.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to paragraphs 493 and 499 of Big Brother Watch & Others v United Kingdom, if he will bring forward legislative proposals under the Investigatory Powers Act to further protect (a) journalistic data from surveillance and (b) freedom of expression.

Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Big Brother Watch and Others v United Kingdom (no. 58170/13), what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the selection and search processes involved in bulk surveillance arising from the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

The government continues to give careful consideration to the Court’s findings.

The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 replaced large parts of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) which was the subject of this challenge. This includes the introduction of a ‘double lock’ which requires warrants for the use of these powers to be authorised by a Secretary of State and approved by a senior judge. An Investigatory Powers Commissioner has also been created to ensure robust independent oversight of how these powers are used.

In addition the Government has already laid regulations which will introduce independent authorisation and a serious crime threshold to the communications data regime in accordance with the requirements of European Law.

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