Investigatory Powers Bill: Equality and Human Rights Commission response to Public Bill Committee call for evidence 23 March 2016

A number of the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention rights) are engaged by the Investigatory Powers Bill, including Articles 2 (right to life), 8 (respect for private and family life), 10 (freedom of expression), 14 (non­discrimination in the enjoyment of Convention rights) and Article 1 of Protocol 1 (the right to property), as well as relevant case law.

In the Commission’s analysis, the proposals in the Bill go some way towards meeting the human rights requirements that there should be clear and detailed rules governing the scope of investigatory powers and robust legal and operational safeguards against arbitrary use and misuse of powers. There remain, however, a number of areas of concern. In this briefing, we make recommendations in relation to the following issues:

  • Part 1: Overarching privacy principles.
  • Part 8: Improvements to oversight provisions:
    • Clause 199: Power to refer matters to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.
    • Clause 208: Power for the IPT to make a declaration of incompatibility.
  • Clause 15: Thematic warrants.
  • Parts 6 and 7: Bulk powers (interception, equipment interference, acquisition of communications data and bulk personal datasets).
  • Part 3: Communications data.
  • Clause 54(4)(d): Internet Connection Records (ICRs).
  • Protecting the sensitive information of particular professions.
  • Safeguards for sharing information abroad.
  • Retention periods and destruction of data.
  • Clause 216: National Security Notices.

The full document can be found here

Last updated: 13 Oct 2016