Draft IP Bill, Joint Committee, 2015-2016

Between November 2015 and February 2016 three parliamentary committees, comprising 25 MPs and 9 members of the House of Lords, scrutinised the draft Investigatory Powers Bill, which was based in part on my Report, A Question of Trust.

The main scrutiny was given by the Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, whose 14 members were drawn from both Houses of Parliament.

I gave evidence to the Joint Committee on 2 December, alongside Michael Clarke who led the RUSI review.¬† A transcript of our evidence is here.¬† Among the many topics covered in my evidence were the¬†influence of the Snowden revelations, ways of ensuring that future capabilities are properly avowed, the merits of the “double lock” approval system for warrants and the feasibility of requiring the retention of internet connection records.

I supplemented this by written evidence in January 2016, which focussed in particular on the operational justification for bulk powers, but also touched on other subjects including the modification of thematic warrants and the powers and constitution of the proposed Investigatory Powers Commission.

The 11 February report of the Committee, together with all the abundant oral and written evidence given to it, can be found here.

The Science and Technology Committee of the House of Commons launched a short inquiry into the technology aspects of the Bill, and reported on 1 February 2016.

Finally, the Intelligence and Security Committee – which provides parliamentary review of¬†the security and intelligence agencies –¬†took its own look at the draft Bill and reported on 9 February 2016.

The majority of the 198 recommendations of these Committees were given effect in the Investigatory Powers Bill that was introduced to Parliament on 1 March.

An account of that development, and my further evidence to the Public Bill Committee, is here.


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