What does this cover?

In last month's alerter we reported that critical submissions against aspects of the Government's draft Investigatory Powers Bill (the Bill) had been aired by some of the world's largest technology companies. The critical companies included Apple, Google, Microsoft and Twitter. Particular areas of contention included the Bill's provisions requiring that communications providers retain certain information about their customer's online activity for a maximum period of 12 months if issued with a retention notice requiring the same. That information could then be accessed by prescribed authorities in the interests of national security.

On 9 February 2016 a joint response was published from the organisations: the National Crime Agency, National Police Chiefs Council and HM Revenue and Customs.

The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (the ISC) have recently considered the Bill's proposals and have developed a report setting out the committee view. The ISC have summarised a number of key areas for improvement, an additional section addressing "privacy safeguards" and "universal privacy protections" that will apply to all investigatory powers.

The report also contains a section of specific recommended amendments to the Bill.

To view the ISC's report, please click here.

What action could be taken to manage risks that may arise from this development?

Communications providers are advised to continue to watch out for further developments on the progress of the Bill. Such organisations may also wish to review the recommendations of the ISC's report to gain insight into the Bill as well as the ISC's perceived requirements.