Enforcement of notices and certain other requirements and restrictions

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:30 pm ar 19 Ebrill 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Home Office) (Security) 4:30, 19 Ebrill 2016

I think we can deal with this briefly. I entirely agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman: where it was neither necessary nor proportionate to attempt to retain data in another place, we would not do so, so that is very straightforward. All data retention notices that are given to telecommunications companies, whether here or abroad, must pass the test of necessity and proportionality. Where they did not do so, it simply would not happen, because it would not be necessary, so for that purpose the amendment is unnecessary.

The second part of the amendment would remove the ability to serve data retention notices on telecommunications operators in countries that do not have a comparable data retention regime. Of course, the fact that they do not have a comparable data retention regime does not necessarily mean that there are no data to obtain, and I think that this part of the hon. and learned Gentleman’s proposal would add rigidity where flexibility is needed. I accept that there are not always comparable systems, but that does not mean that no system of any kind prevails. Again, with the caveat of proportionality and the proven need established, I think it would be unhelpful to limit our capacity to take action as necessary in the way that he suggests. The same could be said of the third element of his proposal, which is about the preservation of data. When there are no data to preserve, this does not really apply, but when there are, we need at least the capacity, born of the flexibilities provided by the Bill, to take action as is necessary and reasonable.