Warrants that may be issued under this Chapter

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:00 pm ar 12 Ebrill 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security) 2:00, 12 Ebrill 2016

Essentially, in order to obtain collection—to have bulk collection and examination—a warrant is required. The Bill makes it clear that the examination of content of persons in the UK requires an additional warrant. That is the point I was making.

Authorisation for persons in the UK does not apply to secondary data, because it is often not possible to determine the location of a person without taking those data. The reason why it looks like there is an inconsistency in respect of a set of data—or it might be perceived that way, without fuller consideration—is that, in relation to secondary data, it is not always possible to determine where someone is until the secondary data have been collected.

The point I made earlier was that it is a well and long-established principle that non-content is less important and less intrusive than content. Content is likely to be more intrusive, so what we are describing in these terms replicates the existing position—the long-established practice—which, as I said, was upheld by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. This is the existing practice, and it has been examined and found to be appropriate and reasonable. I mentioned ECHR compliance in that respect.

I have described the existing regime and its examination, but the regime proposed under the Bill further enhances the safeguards that the security and intelligence agencies already apply when accessing data obtained under a bulk interception warrant. The access arrangements are set out in part 6 of the Bill: for example, secondary data, as well as content, can be accessed only for one or more of the operational purposes specified on the warrant and approved by the Secretary of State and the judicial commissioner. The Bill also includes a requirement that an analyst must consider the necessity and proportionality of any access to any data obtained under a bulk interception warrant in line with the operational purposes. Without putting words into the mouths of Committee members, it could be argued that it is all very well setting out the operational purposes at the outset and that, further, at that point they might be deemed to legitimise the use of the powers in terms of necessity and proportionality, but that that might not be the case further down the line. It is therefore important that we have introduced further analysis of the data collected under the bulk warrant, rather than just when collection is authorised.

Extending targeted examination warrants to non-content data, including secondary data, which is what the amendments propose, would be disproportionate and impractical. That would radically change the bulk data regime, reduce its efficacy and place a substantial burden on the security and intelligence agencies, requiring them to obtain highest level authorisation for data that would often resemble the kind of information routinely collected under a part 3 authorisation.