Draft Investigatory Powers Bill Contents
Appendix 2: Call for Evidence
The following call for evidence was issued by the Committee on 30 November 2015:
The Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, chaired by Lord Murphy of Torfaen, was appointed by the two Houses of Parliament in late November 2015 to consider the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, which was presented to the two Houses on 4 November 2015. The Committee invites any interested individuals and organisations to submit evidence to this inquiry.
The Committee in particular will explore the key issues listed below in detail, and would welcome your views on any or all of the following questions. Please note that questions are not listed here in any particular order of importance.
Written evidence should arrive no later than 21 December 2015. Public hearings will be held in November and December 2015 and January 2016. The Committee has been asked to report to the Houses, with recommendations, in February 2016. The report will receive a response from the Government. The time available for the Committee’s inquiry is short, and its focus will be on the contents of the draft Bill rather than more general aspects of policy. The Committee will not consider as part of its inquiry the merits of individual cases which have been, or are now, subject to formal proceedings in courts or tribunals.
- Are the powers sought necessary?
- Has the case been made, both for the new powers and for the restated and clarified existing powers?
- Are the powers sought legal?
- Are the powers compatible with the Human Rights Act and the ECHR? Is the requirement that they be exercised only when necessary and proportionate fully addressed? Are they sufficiently clear and accessible on the face of the draft Bill? Is the legal framework such that CSPs (especially those based abroad) will be persuaded to comply? Are concerns around accessing journalists’, legally privileged and MPs’ communications sufficiently addressed?
- Are the powers sought workable and carefully defined?
- Are the technological definitions accurate and meaningful (e.g. content vs communications data, internet connection records etc.)? Does the draft Bill adequately explain the types of activity that could be undertaken under these powers? Is the wording of the powers sustainable in the light of rapidly evolving technologies and user behaviours? Overall is the Bill future-proofed as it stands?
- Are the powers sought sufficiently supervised?
- Is the authorisation process appropriate? Will the oversight bodies be able adequately to scrutinise their operation? What ability will Parliament and the public have to check and raise concerns about the use of these powers?
- To what extent is it necessary for (a) the security and intelligence services and (b) law enforcement to have access to investigatory powers such as those contained in the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill?
- Are there any additional investigatory powers that security and intelligence services or law enforcement agencies should have which are not included in the draft Bill?
- Are the new offences proposed in the draft Bill necessary? Are the suggested punishments appropriate?
- Are there sufficient operational justifications for undertaking (a) targeted and (b) bulk interception?
- Are the proposed authorisation processes for such interception activities appropriate? Is the proposed process for authorising urgent warrants workable?
- Are the proposed safeguards sufficient for the secure retention of material obtained from interception?
- How well does the current process under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) work for the acquisition of communications data? What will be the effect of the extra-territorial application of the provisions on communications data in the draft Bill?
- Are the definitions of content and communications data (including the distinction between ‘entities’ and ‘events’) sufficiently clear and practical for the purposes of accessing such data?
- Does the draft Bill allow the appropriate organisations, and people within those organisations, access to communications data?
- Are there sufficient operational justifications for accessing communications data in bulk?
- Is the authorisation process for accessing communications data appropriate?
- Do the proposed authorisation regime and safeguards for bulk data retention meet the requirements set out in the CJEU Digital Rights Ireland and the Court of Appeal Davis judgments?
- Is accessing Internet Connection Records essential for the purposes of IP resolution and identifying of persons of interest? Are there alternative mechanisms? Are the proposed safeguards on accessing Internet Connection Records data appropriate?
- Are the requirements placed on service providers necessary and feasible?
- Should the security and intelligence services have access to powers to undertake (a) targeted and (b) bulk equipment interference? Should law enforcement also have access to such powers?
- Are the authorisation processes for such equipment interference activities appropriate?
- Are the safeguards for such activities sufficient?
Bulk Personal Data
- Is the use of bulk personal datasets by the security and intelligence services appropriate? Are the safeguards sufficient for the retention and access of potentially highly sensitive data?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed creation of a single Judicial Commission to oversee the use of investigatory powers?
- Would the proposed Judicial Commission have sufficient powers, resources and independence to perform its role satisfactorily?
- Are the appointment and accountability arrangements for Judicial Commissioners appropriate?
- Are the new arrangements for the Investigatory Powers Tribunal including the possibility of appeal adequate or are further changes necessary?