Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Investigatory Powers Act codes consultation

The Home Office consultation on the Investigatory Powers Act codes of practice is due to close this week at 11.45am on 6 April.

The codes run to 400+ pages of provisions with a number of changes from previous versions and don't exactly constitute the most accessible form of prose you're likely to come across this week (or month or year).

I was planning to contribute to the consultation but the consultation period has been very short (23 Feb to 6 April) and I haven't had the capacity or the time to do so.

At the prompting of the good folks at the Open Rights Group I have therefore written to the Home Office requesting an extension in the consultation period, as below.
I am writing to request an extension in the consultation period and some more detailed explanatory materials for the Investigatory Powers Act Codes of Practice on

·         Interception of communications: draft code of practice
·         National security notices: draft code of practice
·         Bulk acquisition of communications data: draft code of practice
·         Equipment interference: draft code of practice
·         Security and intelligence agencies’ retention and use of bulk personal datasets: draft code of practice

Having followed the passage of the Investigatory Powers Bill through Parliament and contributed to a succession of consultations on it, I continue to hold serious reservations about the powers contained in the Investigatory Powers Act passed last year. Provisions on how the expansive powers contained in the more than 300 pages of the Act are going to work in practice that should have been contained in the text of the Act, have been incorporated, in difficult to interpret language, into the 400 plus pages of the codes of practice.

I would like to make a contribution to this consultation but it will not be possible for me to do so before the closing date of 6 April.

I respectfully request that the consultation period be extended by at least three months and that the Home Office provide some further explanatory information about how it is intended that these codes of practice be interpreted.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Ray Corrigan