Draft Investigatory Powers Bill

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The Draft Investigatory Powers Bill (nicknamed the Snoopers' Charter[1] or Snooper's Charter) is a draft bill under scrutiny by a joint committee of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.[2] Some parts of the Bill referring to bulk personal datasets came into effect in November 2015 prior to parliamentary scrutiny.[3]

Provisions of the draft bill

The draft bill would:[4][5][6]

  • introduce new powers for UK intelligence agencies and law enforcement, as well as restate existing ones, for targeted interception of communications, bulk collection of communications data, and bulk interception of communications;[7][8][9][10]
  • create an Investigatory Powers Commission (IPC) to oversee the use of all investigatory powers, alongside the existing oversight provided by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament and the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. The IPC will consist of a number of serving or former senior judges. It will combine and replace the powers of the existing Interception of Communications Commissioner, Intelligence Services Commissioner, and Chief Surveillance Commissioner;[11][12]
  • establish a requirement for a judge serving on the IPC to review warrants for accessing the content of communications and equipment interference authorised by a Secretary of State before they come into force;[13]
  • require communication service providers (CSPs) to retain UK internet users' "Internet connection records" – which websites were visited but not the particular pages and not the full browsing history – for one year;[14]
  • allow police and intelligence officers to see the Internet connection records, as part of a targeted and filtered investigation, without a warrant;[15]
  • permit the police and intelligence agencies to carry out targeted equipment interference, that is, hacking into computers or devices to access their data,[16] and bulk equipment interference for national security matters related to foreign investigations;[17]
  • place a legal obligation on CSPs to assist with targeted interception of data, communications and equipment interference in relation to an investigation; foreign companies will not be required to engage in bulk collection of data or communications;[4]
  • maintain an existing requirement on CSPs in the UK to have the ability to remove encryption applied by the CSP; foreign companies will not be required to remove encryption;[4]
  • put the Wilson Doctrine on a statutory footing for the first time as well as safeguards for other sensitive professions such as journalists, lawyers and doctors;[4]
  • provide local government with some investigatory powers, for example to investigate someone fraudulently claiming benefits, but not access to Internet connection records;[4]
  • create a new criminal offence for unlawfully accessing internet data;[4]
  • create a new criminal offence for a CSP or someone who works for a CSP to reveal that data has been requested.[4]

Debate

Does the UK really want the dubious honor of introducing powers deemed too intrusive by all other major democracies, joining the likes of China and Russia in collecting everyone's browsing habits?[18]

—Anne Jellema, head of the World Wide Web Foundation

The draft Bill has generated significant debate about balancing intrusive powers and mass surveillance with the needs of the police and intelligence agencies to gain targeted access to information as part of their investigations.[19][20] Although the Home Office said the Bill will be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights,[21] the content of the draft Bill has raised concerns about the impact on privacy.[22][23] Though there are benefits to formally codifying what the security services can, and can't, do whilst helping to implement legislation that brings the cyber environment into alignment with the real world.[24] In January 2016 a report published by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament recommended that the bill should focus on the right to privacy. Committee chairman, Conservative MP Dominic Grieve, said: "We have therefore recommended that the new legislation contains an entirely new part dedicated to overarching privacy protections, which should form the backbone of the draft legislation around which the exceptional powers are then built. This will ensure that privacy is an integral part of the legislation rather than an add-on." The committee also recommended that Class bulk personal dataset warrants are removed from the legislation.[25]

The Chinese government cited the Snooper's Charter when defending its own intrusive anti-terrorism legislation.[18]

See also

References

  1. Griffin, Andrew (1 March 2016). "UK spying laws: Government introduces law requiring WhatsApp and iMessage to break their own security". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 12 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Draft Bills before Parliament". Parliament. Retrieved 9 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Oral evidence: Draft Investigatory Powers Bill: Technology Issues HC573, Q.26 and Q.76" (PDF). Parliament. Retrieved 19 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 "UK surveillance powers explained". BBC. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>; "Details of UK website visits 'to be stored for year'". BBC. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "UK unveils powers to spy on Web use, raising privacy fears". Reuters. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Investigatory powers bill: the key points". The Guardian. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>; "Surveillance Q&A: what web data is affected – and how to foil the snoopers". The Guardian. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Factsheet – Targeted Interception" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Factsheet – Bulk Communications Data" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Factsheet – Bulk Interception" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Factsheet – Communications Data" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>; "Factsheet – Bulk Personal Datasets" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>; "Factsheet – Bill Definitions" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Factsheet – Oversight" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Factsheet – Investigatory Powers Commission" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Factsheet – Authorisation" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Factsheet – Internet Connection Records" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Factsheet – Request filter" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Factsheet – Targeted Equipment Interference" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Factsheet – Bulk Equipment Interference" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. 18.0 18.1 Schweizer, Kristen (11 February 2016). "'Snooper's Charter' Would Make Brits Most Spied-Upon People". Bloomberg. Retrieved 11 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "May wrong to say surveillance bill creates judicial authorisation for interception, says Liberty – live". The Guardian. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Will Europe call the shots?". Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation. 7 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Investigatory Powers Bill – European Convention on Human Rights Memorandum" (PDF). Home Office. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "The Guardian view on the draft investigatory powers bill: snooper's charter 3.0". The Guardian. 2 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Investigatory Powers Bill - Privacy Impact Assessment" (PDF). Home Office. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Is the Snooper's Charter as Bad as You Think?". Fair Observer. 10 March 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Internet monitoring bill 'must do more to protect privacy'". BBC News. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links