Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The proposed Privacy and Civil Liberties Board - more on DRIP - the Reviewer's review

NOTE 17th July:  DRIP received Royal Assent today and is now the Date Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014.   For a blogpost which is scathing about how this was rammed through Parliament see Paul Bernal - DRIP: Parliament in disrepute.   The Act is (mostly) in force from today - (Note: section 1(6) - concerned with disclosure of data - requires a commencement order).  It is also worth noting that section 1(3) gives the Secretary of State power to issue regulations making further provision about retention of relevant data.  As things stand at the moment, sections 1 to 7 will repeal on 31st December 2016 (the "sunset" provision).  The government claims that the Act is compatible with Convention rights.  Time will tell ! 

Read the Data retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014

1) The PCLB - An element of the package announced by the government along with the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP) was that there is to be a Privacy and Civil Liberties Board (PCLB) along the US model.  In a tweet today, Mr David Anderson QC (Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation) drew attention to the proposed remit of the PCLB and suggested that 'the devil may be in the detail.'  At first sight, the remit appears to be a rather narrow one - essentially focussing on powers relating to terrorism policy and a specific list of Acts. 

It appears that Legislation to put the Independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Board into place will be brought forward in this session of Parliament.  The PCLB is to replace the Independent Reviewer legislation.

101 Uses for an Independent Reviewer

2) The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill -
cleared the House of Commons on Tuesday 15th July and proceeds along its hurried way to the House of Lords where the House of Lords Constitution Committee has issued a report on the Bill  - 3rd report 2014-15   This report is both informative and critical; noting, for example - 'The contrast between the time taken by the Government to consider their response and the time given to Parliament to scrutinise the bill is a matter of concern, not least because of suspicions that are naturally aroused when legislation is fast-tracked.'  The committee also questions the need for fast-tracking the investigatory provisions at all.

A group of senior legal academics have described the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers bill (DRIP) legislation as “a serious expansion of the British surveillance state”, warning that such changes may be in breach of European law - Scottish Legal News

3) Review by David Anderson QC:

Terms of reference for the review to be undertaken by the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation have been published.  See the post on the Reviewer's website - Review reviewed - review.

Previous posts 14th July (kindly reproduced by Legal Business) and 10th July

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